Friday 6 February 2009


The first release of Whitby's Rangam Records was the Totem Phase EP by Sludge Ghaut. All the tracks were recorded in July 1992 at Studio 64 in Middlesbrough . It stands as a far more coherent whole than the LP that came out in 1993, which was made up of various recordings from different studios collected together and entitled Spunkmonkey.

Cooky - Voice
Kev - Guitar
Chris Corner - Guitar
Eef - Bass
Alan Boyes - Drums

These tracks were made by ripping direct from the vinyl, so if there are a few pops and crackles along the way, think of it as adding authenticity. Imagine you're playing this on a battered record player in a bedsit on The Railway drinking Merrydown cider and eating fig rolls.

WARNING! Put Blu Tac under any vases you have on shelves that are likely to become dislodged by violent vibrations. Popwatch accepts no responsibility for damage incurred by playing these tracks. Thank you.

What You Are

Out To Grasp

I Will

Can't Breathe

Thursday 5 February 2009


On Thursday 29th of January The Banter played The Speakeasy in York. Jack Wilson of The Scarlett Alliance was there, and this is his report.

Back from what they told me was a Christmas break are our delightful four piece The Banter. Although it was declared a break, they brought new tunes to the dance floor of the Speakeasy in York. They'd clearly been hard at work writing new stuff.

The Banter were supporting Oasis founding member Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs (now in fact ex-Oasis), who was performing a DJ set. They were more than a little excited, and maybe a trifle nervous. Well you would be wouldn't you?

Come the time they hit the stage, nerves were nowhere to be seen. With a soaking of lager for the front of the crowd and a swagger to their instruments, it was a clear indication that this band is rapidly becoming extremely comfortable with the bigger gigs.

Showcasing new songs “Devil's Eyes” and “Taboo”, The Banter again showed us how to jump up and down without a care in the world, as others merely looked on. They may well have been wanting to join in though.

The early chatter from Jericho brought loud cheers from familiar faces in the audience when he proclaimed “We’re from Whitby, anyone else from Whitby?” The fifty traveling fans then turned the gig into a football stadium with the usual “ YORKSHIRE! YORKSHIRE!” chants that follow the lads wherever they play. Being in York tonight though, it seemed rather appropriate.

At one point Jericho told us that if we listen to the popular charts, we should know the next song, and that The Banter wrote it. It was “Children Of The Night” which I understand is a popular dance song. I’m guessing they didn’t write it. In fact I know they didn’t.

Forgetting this lie, they pulled off a fantastic cover, getting the room moving a lot more than before, which seemed impossible until it happened. The old favourite “Saturday night, Sunday morning” rushed by at an alarming pace leaving me and many others exhausted.

“Turn The Music Down” is a song which twist and turns like no other. The tempo changes all the time. You think you have a chance to rest, then it kicks back in and you have to shift your feet for more jumping around. The last part of the song brings manic shouts of “Ratatataarr” from Jericho, followed by “Dadadadaar” from Sean. A massive cue for the audiencet to join in, indeed I found myself enthusiastically participating.

The new songs are on The Banter's MySpace page, so you can listen for yourselves by clicking their link. On the night the new tunes slotted in as if they'd been playing them since they started. As the set came to a close Nicky thudded his bass, Kane crashed his symbols, Sean took a swig of his beer and Jericho kicked his mic stand over. Stunning live music again from The Banter.

They were due to play York again on 27th February supporting Bez and his new band Domino Bones. Unfortunately that gig has been cancelled, but you can bet your life that it'll take more than a lost gig with a Celebrity Big Brother winner to keep this band down.

Yorkshire! Yorkshire!

Wednesday 4 February 2009


Since Yabbadabbadoo took a sharp pair of scissors to their name and snipped several letters off, to become simply The Yabbas, there's been a personnel change too in Whitby's hardest working covers band. Dave the drummer is now toiling away on the rigs, so he's only home for two weeks out of every four. This means he gigs for a fortnight, then the world famous Si Jay does the next couple of weeks. "It's great for us cos it feels like we have two bands up and running" says James.
The thing about Si is that he is keen to do original music, which fits in with James, Beef and Mart's ethos perfectly. Dave was never really keen on doing the band's own stuff. Consequently James and Beef have been getting together a lot and writing some new songs. James already had a fair bit of material written, so he took it round to Beef for a bit of... er... beefing up? Now the pair of them are busy penning tunes which they freely admit are starting to sound "shit hot!"
" Hopefully come the middle of the year we are gonna have a little batch of original numbers to take out and gig! This is something I've wanted to do for ages, but I've never really found my voice within the band until recently" James told Popwatch.
Obviously the next stage is to get together, learn all the parts and rehearse. Within the local scene The Yabbas still see themselves as a covers band, but for people such as myself who always like to be given something brand spanking new to listen to, I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with. They've got a massive list of gigs for the year, so you shouldn't have any trouble catching some Yabba action.
2009 is shaping up to be an interesting year musically. As always, stay tuned to everyone's MySpace sites for thrills, spills and adverts that ask you if you've ever thought of dating Asian ladies.

Monday 2 February 2009


Deadgirls are easy came about from an idea that Pug and Eef had been keeping on a backburner for a few years. They'd talked about it on and off without any real hope of it ever coming to fruition. Then, with the demise of The Merkins last year, opportunity knocked.
With Harry on board from the last Merkins line up, a fully fledged unit was beginning to take shape. "Harry turned out to be a songwriting genius" Pug told us. "He had four songs ready as demo recordings before we'd even had a chance to get the full band together."
The line up is Pug on vocals, Harry manipulating samples, Eef on bass, Adam and Kyle on guitars, and Anny on pink drums, beer and fags.
Pug had worked with Adam before, and the two of them were in the band Redeemer, until Pug left and formed The Merkins, the Whitby band that still holds the all time record for most lineup changes. Anyway, Pug phoned Adam and said "Remember me? I used to work with you. Do you fancy being a dead girl?" Obviously he said yes. Well you would, wouldn't you?
When Harry decided to concentrate on samples rather than drums Adam's mate Anny came down for a jam and proved so impressive that she was immediately invited to join. "Luckily for us she accepted, and she fits right in like she's always been there with us" beamed Pug. At last the call to arms has been answered and we have a woman doing something other than fronting a band. Praise the Lord!
I was intrigued by the use of sampling. It seems unusually adventurous for Whitby. According to the band Harry and the samples fit in with the music just like another instrument. They add a deeper, more complex texture to the material. The extra dimension prevents the songs from sounding like anyone else's and gives them a unique edge.
So far Deadgirls have six more or less complete songs, and as many again partially written. The main songwriter is Harry, with Pug adding lyrics as and when they come to him. The other members have ideas and songs in the pipeline which have yet to see the light of day. Guess we'll just have to wait and
see what issues forth from their collective fevered imaginations.
They're still in the process of getting the songs together and rehearsing like mad. Songs will be recorded and posted on MySpace as soon as possible. Deadgirls Are Easy plan to be out and about gigging by April(ish).
"To those offended by our name, all I can say is wait until you hear the music. The name fits perfectly with what we're doing. Our sound and songs are influenced by 50's B movies and 70's horror films. The name isn't offensive, it's perfect for us. What I'd like to know is why they think Deadgirls are Easy is offensive? And no, we don't think it will cost us gigs."
I'm not going to tell you what they were very nearly going to be called, but I can tell you it rhymes with 'Funky Hunt', or 'Hunky Punt' if you prefer. Do you see where this is going? I think that possibly might have cost them the odd gig.
We're instructed to keep our eyes and ears peeled (although peeling your ears is probably not a good idea actually), for the first emissions from the Deadgirls' HQ. Keep tuning into their MySpace page, and we'll be hot on the case here at Popwatch too, informing you as soon as anything stirs.
There you have it. Deadgirls Are Easy. Easy like Sunday morning.

Sunday 1 February 2009


NEW stuff to listen to on the WHITBY POPWATCH MYSPACE SITE, all recorded live from the audience at Whitby now 2008 and all absolutely delectable.


Also there's the Panda Lasagne Stupid Tourists video for your entertainment if you scroll down a bit.

You can download any of this by using the method outlined here. You can also use it to download Youtube videos and loads of other stuff to your computer, but don't tell anyone, Its a secret.

Also watch out for items on Dead Girls Are Easy, The Resin Haters, The Devilles, Dead Soul, The John Does and hopefully Light Garden. Obviously that's if any of them'll talk to me. Its always a bit of a loss when a band split up (The Panzers, The Merkins), but often it leads to two bands that are completely different from the originals, which is nice.

I'm also hoping to have some music from the Fairmead era on POPWATCH. There were several cassettes in circulation at the time that a lot of people won't have heard with some nice tunes on. You can't beat a bit of retro.

Keep the faith!