Youth Of America is the songwriting project of Simon Shaw from Lucky Luke and Trembling Bells. Featuring all of the Bells, plus singers Lucy Sweet (Lucky Luke) and Sophie Sexon (Second Hand Marching Band), Youth Of America is a reconfiguration of sorts, re-imagined power pop infected with sunshine psyche. It was born out of his love of US West Coast power pop (The Go-Gos, Bangles, Redd Kross etc), and an ongoing obsession with US counterculture films from the same period. The 10 track album YOA Rising was released at the beginning of the year and is available via their Bandcamp.

Lucky Luke album – release date and first review!

Lucky Luke - Travelling For A LivingChaffinch are pleased to announce that Luke Luke’s Travelling For A Living  CD album will be released on 21st June 2012.

We’re also thrilled with the first review to appear.  A glowing one at that, in The Word:

‘With age, expectations sink. How could they not? You get used to things. You’re harder to surprise. You can’t remember the last time you underwent a full-blown epiphany. It’s a realisation brought into sharp relief by the experience of going to see gigs.  If you see enough workmanlike performances on the trot, you even start to wonder what it would take to hear music so wonderful that you’d be moved to do something really stupid in order to get more of it.  At the 2004 Green Man, I found my answer in Glasgow’s Lucky Luke. In a hot marquee, three skinny blokes in floral shirts and two women in patterned dresses – the bastard progeny of The Pastels in ’86 and Fairport in ’69 – brought their clattering uplift to bear upon a mixture of trad arrs and original songs.  I cornered Morag Wilson (harmonium, vocals) and Lucy Sweet (vocals, autoharp) and and asked when her band might play London.  They had no plans. I put them on myself.  Barely anyone came. I lost £500.  The band stayed at my house. Next day, as I waved them goodbye, they left me demos of their second album Travelling For A Living.  One hour later, I didn’t care about the £500. In my head, I rationalised it thus: when Lucky Luke’s second album comes out to rave reviews, I’ll be boasting about this.

But, of course, plans don’t always go according to themselves.  And in the case of Lucky Luke, there were deals that fell through; there were newborn babies and there were “real” jobs – all of these factors now conspiring to make Travelling For A Living a posthumous release.  There’ll be no more epiphanies in marquees, but here’s a document of a band at the precise point of vertical take-off, where they leave the sum of their constituent parts far behind them.  You can hear it in on Mud In The Milk, where Sweet launches into a narrative about “a wild-hearted girl who cannot be contained by any man” with a gusto that calls to mind the young Kirsty MacColl.  There’s Jackie too, which refracts the ramshackle humanity of old Big Star records through late nights with early Steeleye Span albums.  Wherever you alight on Travelling For A Living, the collision of melody and execution is life-affirming, and no more so than on Morag Wilson and guitarist Simon Shaw’s title track, a lament for the human debris left behind when people throughout history have been forced get on their proverbial bikes in search of work.’  Pete Paphides.



Whisper EP: reviews

Whisper EPIf you didn’t notice a review the other week for the wonderful ‘Whisper E.P.’ on Chaffinchrecords then don’t fret. ‘Cos we missed it like a bunch of retarded gannets due to the sheer influx of Xmas shagging records & this sweet 4 track gem was buried in the kerfuffle & confined to the deepest recesses of the stockroom. Ironic, as the sleeve features a lost dog in a quarry with one of those lampshades round It’s head that keeps mangy mutts from scratching all their fur off when they get nits. Or summat. Ask yer vet. ANYHOO, without FURTHER ADO, this dew-eyed beauty features an absolute blinder from Lucky Luke (a priceless psych-Celt folk odyssey that’s exclusive as it was missed, criminally off Patrick The Survivor) Unfortunately Fat Thailand scoffing Barry has lost the press sheet so I cannae say much more aside from there’s also folkin’ excellent tracks from King Creosote, Immigrant & South Downs. Ignore everything else this week & buy this almost flawless comp 7″ (that’s only if you only have a few quid after buying all yer crack ‘n’ ciggies @ crimbo). SOTW.

Norman Records – January 2006

Four act EP (sadly not on well yummy custard yellow vinyl but attractively presented nonetheless) featuring Beard’s favourite FiferKing Creosote taking his band for a jolly country ramble. Lucky Luke’s Please Bomb Slough was left off their album (perhaps due to its atypical lo-fi drum loop) but it’s one of their best, a dark beauty that slowly unfolds in a Hebridean breeze of flute, saxophone and rumbling toms. The (?)non-Scottish acts are equally fine, with South Downs contributing some lovely folk-pop melded with harmonies and harmonium and Immigrant enchanting with the slow burning hum of The Violet Flame.

Stewart Smith, The Beard – #5 Winter 2005

Creosote offer a lovely jaunty new song to this four-track new-folk EP, but it’s the sinister, Wicker Man chanting of Lucky Luke that shines brightest.

John Earls, Planet Sound – September 2006

4 lovely tracks here. Singer songwriter material with heaps of meloncholic overtones in the wonderful melodies. I particularly love the use of the harmonium on the inside side. beautiful…..

I loved the Lucky Luke album so there was no hesitation in getting this EP. ‘Please Bomb Slough’ is a broody nest of nu-folk twigs upon a slightly rhumba-ish branch. Not sure about the title. ‘Please Bomb Slough’ – isn’t that incitement to terrorism under section 72 of the new Dontfuckwivus Act. (Then again 500 7″ singles is hardly an incitement to anything, as my Gran always used to chuckle.) I think I know what they’re getting at though. Slough represents materialism, the urban, the suburban, the modern, the breakdown of community, the vulgar, the corporatisation of the high street, the Americanisation of culture, an uninspired youth, the devaluation of human endeavour, the new slavery, the pointlessness of a satellite town, the distribution centre, the easy access to the M4, the industrial estate, the death of hope, repetition and process. Slough is everywhere. It’s not just Slough. And somehow I don’t think folk rock is gonna save us but, hey, it’s worth trying. Do people ever gig in Slough? I wonder ifLucky Luke had a bad experience there or something. It would tie it all up. Anyway, this EP is on the new Chaffinch imprint and contains other stuff: including a rather chirpy song by South Downs and a skybound organ number by Immigrant.

*I’ve just been informed that the incitement to bomb Slough is in fact a reference to Betjeman. Once again my ignorance of 20th Century verse has left me exposed and ashamed. But then you’re dealing with someone here who thought The Wasteland was written by Paul Weller and, once, when my poet friends were discussing Dylan I thought they were talking about Bob Dylan – whoever he was.

Review by Wide Open Road. January 2006.

For the love of music! Not too many labels still put out music…for the love of music. And that’s why U.K. based Chaffinch Records is such a little gem. Releasing various artists EP’s, and a little EP by a nobody artist named Anthony Reynolds (Jack!!!), these guys might not be making a huge splash, but they definitely deserve your attention. The Whisper is a 7″ vinyl EP limited to only 500 copies. And if you think for a moment that small quantities proves it must not be worth your time, you’re a bloody idiot (MakeMineMusic and VelvetBlueMusic are 2 wonderful examples of this). Lucky Luke is the first of the 4 artists that show up on this EP. The price of the EP would be worth it for the slow and haunting “Please Bomb Slough” alone.

A very talented and understated band we should hear more of. King Creosote’s “6 Ups and Over” sounds like an obscure folkish jam, with vocals filtered to the background as acoustic guitars and brushed drums dominate the soundscape. “Something Inside” by South Downsbleeds of its influence. An endearing cross between Paul McCartney and Elliott Smith echoes through the air, as lo-fi melodic drones fill out the remaining headspace. The fourth and final artist to contribute to this EP is Immigrant, with “The Violet Flame”. Featuring an organ as the song’s base, a dry tenor sleepily follows a monotone melody to its bitter end.

For those serious indie music lovers, you should become familiar with Chaffinch Records. They put out music that’s worth your while.

The Black And White Magazine