I’m back!

Spring is here, and I’m back with you. It’s midweek, and I’m halfway between the frantic scrabbling about after this week’s Loose Canon and the slow build towards next week’s show (which is shaping up nicely so far).

If you missed the live show on 6 Towns Radio on Monday, and would like to catch up, please see below for the broadcast times on Pop That Goes Crunch and Radio Lantau, or click on the links to listen via Mixcloud or Soundcloud. We had an excellent featured album from Arno De Cea & The Clockwork Wizards – Flash Freezing The Sun – frantic surf-punk from Aquitaine, plus heaps of other fine fare, from all over everywhere.

Tomorrow afternoon it’s time for Simon’s Big New Thursday Thing of course – the delightful array of music is already loaded onto a USB and ready to go, but as for the spoken content, who knows which way it’ll go? If you’d like to catch up on recent shows, click on the Mixcloud or Soundcloud links below – I would particularly like to draw your attention to the episode from 30th March…

Live music wise, in two-and-a-half weeks it’s The Situation’s 6th Big May Birthday, our annual all-dayer at The Foxlowe Community Arts Centre in Leek – Saturday 6th May from 2pm. As always, there will be three stages – one of them on the patio, weather permitting – and twelve plus acts, including indie excellence from headliners The Gurus, noise-pop mayhem from Mouses, ambient guitar wonders from Eyre Llew, plus 10 O’Clock Chemical, Rachel Ferguson, The Torch, Thieves Asylum, Goya, A Thousand Wolves, Jay Johnson, Vienna Sunset, Randall’s Stone, and more. It’s always a cool and fantastic day, in an outstanding venue, with a huge range of original music, a great atmosphere, and it’s family-friendly. Come and make a day of it with us!

And as for the political situation – pretend Thatcher calls the election that she promised wouldn’t happen until 2020, right in the middle of the Brexit shitfest – please, please let us all, as decent human beings, unite and kick the despicable Tory slime-beings back into whichever dark pit they oozed out of, and take the first steps on the road towards a more tolerant and caring society.

Mixcloud & Soundcloud archives:



The Situation’s 6th Big May Birthday:


Loose Canon schedule:

Monday 9pm BST – 6 Towns Radiohttp://www.6towns.co.uk/
Wednesday 7pm HKT (12 noon BST) – 
Radio Lantauhttp://radiolantau.com/
Wednesday 10am PDT (6pm BST) – 
Pop That Goes Crunchhttps://popthatgoescrunch.com/
Thursday 4pm PDT (12 midnight BST) –  
Pop That Goes Crunchhttps://popthatgoescrunch.com/


What the fuck?

A strange and busy few weeks, with the day-job taking rather more time and energy than is the norm, bizarre developments in the wider world, and insomnia rearing its familiar head, but I’m back with you now.

Multi-tasking at the moment – ripping a hug stack of CDs (prior to getting rid of them), unzipping dozens of recent downloads for Monday’s Loose Canon, whilst drinking home-made green tea mead and listening to Marc Riley on 6 Music – great Connan Mockasin track on just now, by the way.

Some outstanding new music around this week – can’t wait to share a slice of it with you on Monday.

I’ll add the links to the cloudcasts of this Monday’s show, at the bottom of the page, in case you’ve not caught it yet

I’ve started to try and comment on the political situation three or four times over the last week, but every time I look back at what I’ve written, things have already moved on. At this point, all I can really say is, ‘What the fuck..?’ Given the changes that have happened in the last two weeks, who can say where we’ll be in another two years?



Last Thursday we drove over to JT Soar in Nottingham to watch my favourite Valencian trio play to a full house in a room the size of an average British living room.

I first came across Betunizer two years ago whilst scouring the record shops of Barcelona for cool and interesting Spanish and Catalan bands. An assistant sorted me out a stack of about twenty CDs to listen to, and Betunizer’s third album, Gran Veta, was about halfway down the pile – this is now one of my top albums of all time.

Opening act Soul Structure blasted a twisting post-hardcore punk-jazz with intense bass and drums interplay, scratchy lizarding guitar and pained vocals – they’ll hopefully be playing at The Situation later in the year, and I’ll be playing something from their recent album on Loose Canon in the next week or two.

Grey Hairs power-drove through an excellent set of guitar-driven garage punk with angsty vocals.

Crammed into the corner of a small sweaty room, drummer Marcos Junquera breaks into the unsettling opening beat of Camilo Jose Shellac, first track from the recent album Enciende Tu Lomo. Bassist Pablo Peiro folds into the rhythm, with a deceptively basic line. Now the distinctive jagged chords of Jose Guerrero erupt – this is the sound of Betunizer, three guys each with their own very defined styles of play, fitting together like the parts of some fantastic machine. Marcos Junquera’s drumming is phenomenal, with circlic rhythms, syncopated breaks and masterful precision. Pablo Peiro’s bass is always punchy, often off-beat and counter-intuitive with twisted runs, slides and burbles. Jose Guerrero’s guitar style is frenetic broken rhythms, with forays into aetherial dream sounds. Betunizer are post-hardcore, post-punk, post-noise, and sound like no other band on Earth.

Find them, love them, see them live.



The Cull

Saturday afternoon, and I’m settled in for a mega listening session, with beers and snacks within easy reach. There are some bloody excellent sounds thus far – I’m about a quarter of the way through my planned list, and could already almost fill the playlist for Monday’s show. I love doing this, as you probably know, but there may be some difficult decisions to make when it comes to the final edit, tomorrow morning.

This morning my lady love and I visited the Staffordshire Moorlands Open Art Exhibition, where I have two pieces on show. Overall the standard of work is high as usual, with the occasional perplexing inclusion (mine, you may well think…). Worth a scan, if you are in the area – I’ll certainly be popping in again for a second look, next time I’m passing.


Sunday morning now, and I’ve chosen the featured album for tomorrow’s Loose Canon – Strasbourg band Hermetic Delight’s seven track EP ‘Vow’. Still struggling to cull a long list of good stuff down to size for a two hour show. Going to take a break, get out in the fresh air for an hour or so.

More later.



Whoosh – ginger, galangal and turmeric tea – that’s some major triple ginger hit! Hopefully this will help lift me out of a miserable miasma of a mood, caused by a recurring infection that nothing has yet managed to eradicate.

Last Thursday’s nine hour overnight show was tighter than I could have hoped for, with excellent support from guests/co-hosts Steve Hammersley and Johnny Blaze. Steve and I talked about our upcoming one day music festival, The Situation’s 5th Big May Birthday, and played tracks by most of the acts who’ll be appearing (Rinse, October Drift, Liines, Dirty Rotten Souls, Unqualified Nurse Band, Shimmer Trap, Sugarking, Lazy Eye, The Taskers), getting a real taste of what’s to come on Sunday 1st May. When Johnny arrived, we played some of his choices, giving us a interesting flavour of his Monday night show, Esoteric – some of it a bit lightweight for me, but there were one or two quirky surprises. I have sworn that I’ll never attempt an all-nighter again, but apparently I say this every time…

With so much of my usual research time going into that leviathan, I had thought that Monday’s show would suffer, and that I’d maybe have to pad it out with a lot more oldies than usual, but it actually turned out to be a damned fine bash, with more nowave than I’ve played in a while, and a cool and relentlessly driving featured album from The Infinite Three. If you’ve not already caught it, click on one of these links:



You can find out more about The Situation’s 5th Big May Birthday here:


That’s it for now – will get back to you soon. xyz

Switching Personas

I’m struggling to stay awake at three in the afternoon, after a fairly ropy night’s sleep last night. Well, it is Thursday, and I will be presenting Simon’s Big New Thursday Thing in just over an hour, so the content will probably be suitably off-the-wall and scatterbrained. A strong (free) takeaway coffee from Waitrose should start to kick in shortly.

My plans for next Thursday’s overnight show are coming together. Thus far, it looks like I’ll have three co-conspirators, spaced through the nine hours of the show: Lee Barber, of Garage Greenhouse (the cool and incisive local music show that goes out at seven pm on Monday evenings) and Rebel Bear Precinct (media/news/publishing); Steve Hammersley, good friend of mine and one third of The Situation (local music promotion group); and John E Blaze, ex-pro wrestler and presenter of Esoteric (the show that airs after Loose Canon on Monday nights).

I’ll be playing a fair chunk of new music, much as might hear on a regular edition of Loose Canon, plus many of my favourites from the last few years of the show, some old gems from further back, a healthy dose of local music suggested by Lee and Steve, indie esoterica from John, and requests from your splendid selves.

At the moment, I’m contemplating switching personas for the last couple of hours of the overnight show, and bringing in some of the characters and lunacy from Simon’s Big New Thursday Thing… We’ll see.

More soon.

Dodging The Drizzle

It’s a beautifully sunny afternoon here in the wilds of North Staffordshire, after a rather damp and dismal start to the day. Dodging the drizzle, we did get out for a walk along the Trent And Mersey Canal this afternoon, taking refuge in a friendly hostelry during a heavier downfall, which sadly lasted ninety minutes, just time for a couple of pints…

We’re back at my lady love’s abode now, have dried off and fed. I’ve just been dotting the tees and crossing the eyes on my notes for tonight’s Loose Canon, so all is ready to throw into the car at 8:30pm for the drive across to the studio.

The featured album is one I’ve been waiting for – and rabbiting on about – for months. Future Of The Left’s ‘The Peace And Truce Of Future Of The Left’ arrived in my inbox a couple of days ago, and I’m excited to be able to share it with you this evening. I’m uncertain when the physical copies are being shipped out, but I’m fairly sure I ordered a tee-shirt too, so will wear that in the studio for you when it arrives.

Not sure if I’ve told you about this yet, but I’ll be doing an overnight show on Thursday 7th April, starting at 11pm UK time, finishing at 8am the next morning. This is part of more than two weeks of overnight shows, aiming to raise awareness of, and funds for, 6 Towns Radio – a great station run entirely by volunteers. If you’d like to make a donation, please click on the link below. Also, if you’d like me to play a request on that show, please donate one pound or more, and let me know which track you’d like, as soon as possible. If you’d like to choose an album to be played as one of the featured albums, please donate ten pounds or more, and again, let me know a.s.a.p.

Take care, and I’ll see you soon.