I wanted to write a post about music I had particularly got into over the last year, and I couldn’t really remember what I’d listened to when. I turned to the expert, my page.The stats there revealed the totally unsurprising truth that The Beach Boys are still my god and that The Association are my financial system (no, I’m not sure where I’m going with this metaphor either) but also helped show things which sprang from nowhere to the top of my chart.So I turn my attention to number 3 in my stats for 2010, the wonderful eccentric genius that is mr Kevin Ayers.

I stumbled across Kevin Ayers on a great comp, Insane Times: 25 British Psychedelic Artyfacts From The EMI Vaults which has some fantastic music on it, like “Is it love” by Jon, and “Mr Armageddon” by The Locomotive (one of my ’09 musical crushes) and also Kevin’s “Song For Insane Times”. I didn’t really like Kevin’s track at first, but it really grew on me.

There’s something special about the feel of Kevin Ayers’ music, the attitude maybe, that’s just so relaxed and natural, from the joyful pop of “Religious Experience (Singing a song in the morning)” right through to more experimental things like “The Confessions of Doctor Dream: Irreversible neural damage”. It never feels fake, it always feels like genuine playfulness, never self-indulgent or posturing.

Anyway, I think all I’m saying in this long and winding post, is that I love Kevin Ayers, and that listening to this marvellous box set brought me much comfort.

Like someone had sat me down and said to me: “It’s all going to be ok you know” and I believed him.

p.s. Banana.

Downliners Sect – Brite Lights EP, coming soon!

In late 2009 I was having an idle surf of ‘reel to reel’ related items on Ebay when I came across a huge lot of tapes that purported to come from a recording studio in Chingford, all dating from the late fifties to the mid sixties.

With thoughts of the legendary ‘fine recording studio‘ tape hoard in mind, I half jokingly forwarded the link to my similarly obsessed friend, fellow tape nerd and H.O.G co-founder Gary, and thought nothing more of it, until he mailed back to say that he had bid, and won.

Hoping I hadn’t put him onto a duffer, I went to sleep, only to be awoken at 2am by an excited phone-call, and the sounds of what I instantly recognised to be Downliners Sect recordings I’d never heard before coming down the phone.

Do The Dog? Mona? These songs weren’t on any of the original Sect records either of us owned, and the versions of ‘Roll over Beethoven’ and ‘Bright Lights, Big City’ were wildly different to the existing versions.

A couple of emails were sent, and it soon transpired that what Gary had come across amidst the hundreds of self help tapes, children’s choirs and sound effects EPs was a long lost follow up to the legendary ‘nite at great newport street’ EP that had been issued in a tiny run on the contrast sound label in 1964.

After the success of that release, a follow up was recorded with legendary recording pioneer F.C Judd. Sleeves were printed, the tapes were sent to the pressing plant…only for the band to arrive several weeks later to a boarded up building. The plant, label and tape had vanished.

So- contact was made, a deal was struck, and now Hand Of Glory Records  are proud to present, after a mere 46 year delay, the first release of ‘Bright Lites’ by the Downliners Sect!

Brite Lights Big City - Downliners Sect


On sale March 2011! see our big cartel shop to pre-order now or email us for more info.

I hear a new world. Oct 23rd. Euston.

This Saturday at the always wonderful St Aloysius Social club, we at Hand Of Glory are delighted to present:

The Doozer

Just back from a West Coast tour, and tipped by Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore in Arthur magazine as:  “A pleasure of great dimensions. The lazy man’s way to review it to call it a bridge between Syd B and Chris Knox, carrying all the weird damage and superb left field pop motion that implies.”

Another Cambridge adventurer, and seemingly prolific youtuber, Pete Um’s solo performance lies somewhat uncomfortably between psychedelic pop music, sonic experimentalism, and Dadaist comedy.

The Lone Taxidermist

The Lone Taxidermist aka Natalie Sharp is a one woman howl-inducing music making machine. From Manchester but now based in London – TOW guesses that gothic psych electro may be the correct way to describe her, but in all honesty The Lone Taxidermist sits quite squarely in a league of her own.

The Outdoor Types and Mary Epworth (special one off supergroup set!)

Longterm friends and Hand Of Glory  labelmates , Kidderminster folk-facemelters The Outdoor Types are joined for one night by acclaimed psych soul siren Mary Epworth to try to make the biggest noise possible, with the most number of harmonies.

The Outdoor Types “All aboard that’s coming aboard” is out now on I Blame the parents.

Mary’s harpsichord and flanged autoharp drenched debut album is under construction as we speak.

if that was not enough, the Hand Of Glory DJs, this time joined by music nerd and cat loving Author tom Cox (Lost Tribes Of Pop, Under The Paw) dig up lost greats and danceable pop from the 60s 70s, and probably not 80s.*

As fans of Fortean Times, We’re running this as an unofficial (it’s a long story) appendix to the fantastic 2 day Unconvention, which is once again being held at Westminster uni.

Uncon attendees and other Forteans can get in for £4, everyone else has to stump up the enormous £5 for a whole night of amazing music and cheap beer!

*apart from Funky Town.