Distilled Records approached Mano in early 2013 and asked for 10 songs, stripped back, simple, the songs laid bare along with his heart and soul… a few exchanges of emails later and Distilled Records received 30 demos with a note that read ‘pick 10’. Peach Got Bones was recorded in just 4 days at Mano’s house and brings to mind the English pop sensibility of Ray Davies and the intensity of Elliot Smith.
Mano McLaughlin is so unassuming in both his playing and production that you can’t help but love what you hear. His imagery is simple but unexpected, and delivered with irresistible musical phrasing. An effortless knack for words and tunes; what more can you ask for?
photograph (c) Darius Kučys
Steve Dowling put the Obliviates together to record an album of his songs in 2011. Five rehearsals, then ‘Urchin’ was recorded live at Unit 7 Studios in a day, the album mixed, mastered and manufactured within a week. A couple of release dates were meant to be the end of the project, but by then the band was getting its teeth into the songs, and like a dog with a fresh bone just wouldn’t let go. And the more songs Steve throws their way, the harder they devour them, and the stronger the band becomes.
Year 2 and Steve Dowling & The Obliviates release second long player ‘Lord Of Nowhere’ to rave reviews, the band take to the festival circuit and even grab some BBC Radio airplay along the way. Steve Dowling & The Obliviates really start to make people notice them with such brilliantly realized tracks as Independence Day…
photograph (c) Kim Ayres
Spider Mike is a veteran on the Manchester music scene, one of the unsung heroes whose sullen independence helps give the Manchester brand its balls. Distilled Records roll out the red carpet for him, offering supine respect.
Spider Mike’s exacting standards might be one of the reasons that he isn’t a familiar name… if it ain’t right, no deal is done and nothing goes out. He’s as driven now as ever, and the focus that he brings to performance and recording is there in the writing as well. Age does not dim his baleful glare, or soften his edge, but there’s a reflective quality about his work now that acknowledges the suffering of others as well as himself.
photograph (c) Daniel Parker