As one with an innate suspicion about algorithms and their effects on modern living, I usually don’t pay too much attention to ‘recommended for you’ internet prompts. Like much of the advertising that pops up unrequested as you browse, these are often wildly off the mark, commonly insensitive and even bizarre. To quote a much-shared example of a ‘malgorithm’, no, I really don’t want tampons to be endorsed as I await Slayer’s “Raining Blood” on YouTube. Yet, to dispel any impression that I am totally a closed shop to suggestions, the occasional recommendation can hit the target. I hadn’t come across Natalie Taylor before but recently was captivated by this particular song of hers. “Surrender”


The Hyundai Mercury Prize ‘Albums of the Year’ proudly set out to ‘celebrate and promote the best of British music, recognising artistic achievement across a range of contemporary music genres.’ These are noble intentions though no doubt the sponsor also wishes to flog a few cars. This year’s shortlist of 12 top albums, chosen by a judging panel which was probably as good as it gets in terms of representing both creatives and critics, was revealed on Lauren Laverne’s show on BBC Radio 6 Music yesterday morning. The winner will be announced on 24 September. I have an endless dilemma about the merits of ranking music. Some time ago I decided that articles ranking, say, the albums of Pink Floyd


Hopefuls is the keenly awaited debut long player from Leeds four-piece, The Harriets. As regular readers will know, I first encountered The Harriets when they entered the Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition last year and I chose the band as one of just three acts I could put through to the longlist. I am especially pleased that Hopefuls finally lands tomorrow as it is the culmination of a great deal of hard work and self-endeavour by frontmen Daniel Parker-Smith (guitar,vocals) and Ben Schrodel (bass, vocals), who have written and produced the nine tracks that form Hopefuls, performed with the adept support of Jess Womack on keys and Ryan Bailey on drums. Ben took some time out to give u


‘Highly anticipated’ might easily rank alongside ‘critically acclaimed’ in the lexicon of over-used music PR phrases. However, both seem appropriate when considering the new single, “We the People”, from Kristina Train and then her fine debut album back in 2009, Spilt Milk. I recall reviewing that album for ConsequenceofSound and being impressed by the maturity and range of the Savannah, Georgia-raised singer. You can still find the review here, sans imagery. Sadly, the record received little marketing support, however deserving. A stint as a touring singer and violinist, no less, with Herbie Hancock followed and then a second album, Dark Black, in 2013; a record laced with delicious noir an


You stop and give a homeless man a fiver. Does he: a). thank you kindly. b). appreciate it but ask if you could run to a tenner. c). say it’s way too little and anyhow he could have really done with it last month. Music venues have a similar dilemma over the Government’s £1.57bn support package for the Arts. Who will get a slice? How much will they get? And the all-important when? The devil, as ever, is in the detail and, alike with most Government announcements during the crisis, it’s the bit that seems to be thought through last. Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, stated that institutions would have to apply through industry bodies and be asked to prove how they contribute to wider economic


One of the privileges of having a platform on which to write about music is the thrill of show and tell. New artistes can come seemingly out of nowhere and so amaze you with what they’ve got that you simply have to pass on the lead. A.A. Williams was pretty much unknown, only making her stage debut in April last year at Roadburn Festival, the signature heavy music gathering in Holland, following the release of a self-titled EP on Holy Roar. Out today, her debut album for Bella Union, Forever Blue, is paradoxically named after a song that was culled from the final selection of eight that adorn a record that is so assured that it seems like the work of a far seasoned performer. The initials im

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outstanding contemporary music through news, album and live reviews, features and interviews. 


Music is a great passion of mine. In my teenage years I was an avid record collector and concert goer. Stints as a booking agent, running folk clubs, promoting gigs and even a crack at artiste management followed. While it never became my main occupation, music was always on my personal radar.


During the past 10 years I have written for the leading US music website Consequence of Sound and breakthrough act site, BestNewBands. I am a judge for Glastonbury Festival's Emerging Talent Competition and have reviewed the festival for both the above sites.


Nothing gives me more pleasure than unearthing good, original new music and championing independent musicians. You’ll find many of them on this site alongside some legends of times past and I hope they will bring  you as much joy as they give me.

Tony Hardy



Covid-19 has rather put paid to them but may I commend:

Mondays at 8pm: Cressida Ford's Almost Acoustic Show on Radio Scarborough


Wednesdays at 6pm: Hattie Briggs - live stream on FB & Insta


Daily on Twitter: Tim Burgess' Listening Party

Anytime for great live sets: KEXP's YouTube channel Kingston store may be physically closed but please support online. Check out live streaming shows too!

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