Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Minstrels, Poets & Vagabonds – The Haze

For Part Two of this series we head off to 2008 and The Haze who are no strangers to my iPod as their album “Spirits Are Rising” was one of my favourites of 2008 and not just because they covered “The Seeker”.

This is from their own biography:-

If the 21st century has seen music transformed – perhaps even overwhelmed – by technology, then it’s a relief to know that, for lovers of rock, the old values have become…well, invaluable. And no band better presents this truism than THE HAZE. A five-piece from Glasgow, they’ve spent the past few years learning their craft on the road, touring anywhere and everywhere they can across Britain.

“I’d say that we’ve played almost every major city, and most of the bigger venues,” says singer James Cairns. Through supporting the likes of Idlewild, Eagles Of Death Metal, The Cult, The Hold Steady, The Haze have developed their chops and curves, in the process becoming a sharp, focused, articulate, hard rocking crew who deliver dirty rhythms locked into garage melodies, amid choruses so towering they are in danger of being a hazard to low-flying aircraft.

Led by the distinctive lead vocals of James Cairns, The Haze combine the classic feel of artists such as The Cult and The Doors with a tension last seen in Oasis early years. Live, the recipe is one part brooding menace and one part soaring guitars – add a pinch of backline-heavy rhythms and you have a new, pulse-racing sound combining strong melody with heart-driven riffs. Tracks such as Ghostdancer (as featured on a Zero magazine covermount CD), Lord, Preacher and Just To Hear Them Say are solid proof of that.

“When we started out, our main influence was Oasis,” reveals Cairns. “But now, we’re much more into the classic giants: Zeppelin, the Doors, the Stones, the Who, Dylan…it means that we’ve managed to get interest from older fans, as well as pick up a large young following. It’s a great mixture.”

Cairns himself nearly joined the band as a guitarist. “I was invited down by John Paul Hunter (guitarist, who co-founded The Haze). I knew his cousin, and so got asked to come along for a bevy & a sing song, because they were looking for more band members. I went along, and actually just started to sing along to some of the tunes; that was it, I got the job…as the vocalist!”

Having never sung before in public, Cairns needed some severe anaesthetic intake to calm his nerves before doing his first ever Haze show. Consequently, his recollections are well…hazy. “Don’t ask me to tell you anything about that. I was so out of it; I can’t recall that gig at all, ha! But I’ve learnt my lessons. These days, we all party hard – but only after doing the show.”

The current line-up – Cairns, Hunter, bassist Ross Duffy and drummer Robert Mitchell – have been together since 2004 with the most recent addition Leahy only joining in the summer of 2009 , and the aim is to spread the word far and wide.

“We want to go to America, Japan, Europe…in fact, anywhere they love their rock music.” In preparation for such global plans, The Haze have just recorded their debut album, with famed producer Chris Tsangarides. “Man, that was amazing. He’s worked with Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest as well as tons of new acts …he has so many stories that it could keep us in lyrics for the next six records!”

The record itself will be called ‘Spirits Will Rise’, a title that comes from… “well, it’s inspired by spiritualism. But it also has another meaning, of course. One that’s more alcoholic! So, whichever way you look at it, this is the perfect title for our debut.”

The Haze aren’t a passing phase. They are the natural successors to so many great names who’ve graced the British scene over the past 40 years – from Lizzy to Zeppelin, Nazareth to the Pink Fairies. But they’re also very much part of the modern era as recently witnessed on their recent shows at King Tuts, Rock Ness and as support to The Enemy.

As long as we have bands like this, the future of rock ’n’ roll is a sure bet. “We’ve got festival commitments like T In The Park coming up, and it seems we’re currently in demand. But the five of us are also very much aware that to live up to the high standards we’ve set ourselves, there’s a lot of hard graft left to do.”

A band with talent, application and vision…that is refreshing.

“Capella” – The Haze

They have just finished a tour with The Complete Stone Roses and are now working on demos for the new album.

Keep up to date with them HERE

Here is the single “Streetfighter” released in Feb 2009 Kasabian beware!!

It’s a strange world when great new bands are supporting “tribute” bands Bjorn Again have a lot to answer for!

They are said to be from Glasgow but we folks from Dumbarton and The Vale consider them ours, second famous (for now) behind James Allan of Glasvegas who only played for the Sons of the Rock, then of course there is David Byrne of Talking Heads who is a real Son of the Rock.

Finally here is their take on The Who’s “The Seeker” my Fiona’s favourite Who song.

“The Seeker” – The Haze

To buy the music of The Haze click HERE

As Roberto rightly states in the book below “as long as we have bands like this plugging away, the future of rock ‘n’ roll is in safe hands”

To buy Roberto’s book click HERE

January 16, 2010 Posted by | Books, Fiona, Old Music, Uncategorized, Video | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Talking Fatboy Slim Heads

A concept album designed by Fatboy Slim and David Byrne has been unveiled, featuring a raft of guest stars.

Fatboy Slim seems to have grown fond of collaboration. Recent album ‘Brighton Port Authority’ contained a raft of guest stars, including notable contributions from British rapper Dizzee Rascal and former Talking Heads star David Byrne.

It seems that Byrne’s contribution has sparked a much larger endeavour. Together with Fatboy Slim the pair are due to release a concert album next year focussing on a highly controversial figure.

As the First Lady Of The Philippines Imelda Marcos embodied wealth and power. However her prestige came with a price as the deeply corrupt country began financing her every whim. Removed from power in a coup, Marcos died in disgrace away from her homeland.

Now Fatboy Slim and David Byrne have turned her story into a new album. Originally designed as a musical the album runs to 22 tracks and contains almost as many guest singers.

The cast contains such stars as Florence Welch from Florence And The Machine, Santigold and Tori Amos. Soul diva Sharon Jones is also due to appear with 80s pop starlet Cyndia Lauper also contributing vocals.

Running across 2 CDs the album is due to be released as a boxset through Todomundo/Nonesuch records alongside a 100-page book and DVD.

“The story I am interested in is about asking what drives a powerful person, what makes them tick? How do they make and then remake themselves?” David Byrne explains in the book’s introduction.

“I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great if—as this piece would be principally composed of clubby dance music—one could experience it in a club setting? Could one bring a ‘story’ and a kind of theater to the disco? Was that possible? If so, wouldn’t that be amazing!”

Fatboy Slim / David Byrne are set to release ‘Here Lies Love’ on February 23rd. Tracklisting is as follows:

CD 1:

‘Here Lies Love’ (Vocals by Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine)
‘Every Drop of Rain’ (Vocals by Candie Payne and St. Vincent)
‘You’ll Be Taken Care Of’ (Vocals by Tori Amos)
‘The Rose of Tacloban’ (Vocals by Martha Wainwright)
‘How Are you?’ (Vocals by Nellie McKay)
‘A Perfect Hand’ (Vocals by Steve Earle)
‘Eleven Days’ (Vocals by Cyndi Lauper)
‘When She Passed By’ (Vocals by Allison Moorer)
‘Walk Like A Woman’ (Vocals by Charmaine Clamor)
‘Don’t You Agree?’ (Vocals by Róisín Murphy)
‘Pretty Face’ (Vocals by Camille)
‘Ladies in Blue’ (Vocals by Theresa Andersson)

CD 2:

‘Dancing Together’ (Vocals by Sharon Jones)
‘Men Will Do Anything’ (Vocals by Alice Russell)
‘The Whole Man’ (Vocals by Kate Pierson)
‘Never So Big’ (Vocals by Sia)
‘Please Don’t’ (Vocals by Santigold)
‘American Troglodyte’ (Vocals by David Byrne)
‘Solano Avenue’ (Vocals by Nicole Atkins)
‘Order 1081’ (Vocals by Natalie Merchant)
‘Seven Years’ (Vocals by David Byrne and Shara Worden)
‘Why Don’t You Love Me?’ (Vocals by Cyndi Lauper and Tori Amos)


Visit for more information

December 16, 2009 Posted by | New News, Video | , , | Leave a comment

New Music – David Byrne and Brian Eno


David Byrne was born in Dumbarton, despite this fact I lost touch with his music after the superb “Stop Making Sense” live album….that was until the weekend when searching for music on eMusic to spend my credits on I read some great reviews of his 2008 collaboration with Eno “Everything That Happens Will Happen Today” and after listening to a couple of tracks I did something I don’t do often in eMusic..I downloaded the whole album.


The album is so varied yet carries a common feel typical of a Brian Eno production.

The first track below “Strange Overtones” was available free on David Byrne’s web site so I have included a mp3 download link.


The second track is my current favourite and is called “I Feel My Stuff”

To buy the album click HERE


This gives me an excuse to add some Talking Heads music into the post.

First up one of my favourite tracks from 1978 “Thank You For Sending Me An Angel”


Oh, Oh, baby you can walk, you can talk just like me.
You can walk, you can talk just like me.
You can look, tell me what you see.
You can look, you won’t see nothing like me
if you look around the world.

Oh, baby you can walk, you can talk just like me.
With a little practive, you can walk like, talk just like me.
If that’s what you wanna do.
Well, you can look, you’ll walk in circles around me.
But first, I’ll walk in circles ’round you.
But first, I’ll walk around the world.

I’m walking ’round the world
I … you can.
But first, show me what you do.

Finally the opening song from the classic live DVD “Stop Making Sense”

February 10, 2009 Posted by | New Music, Old Music, Video | , , | Leave a comment


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