martin newell Archive

Hundred-word Reviews January 2016: Compilations

This week-long run of quick reviews wraps up today with looks at five excellent compilation albums. King Curtis – The Complete Atco Singles Real Gone Music swings for the fences with this, a three-CD set that collects all of the saxophonist’s 64 a- and b-sides released on the Atlantic subsidiary (plus two unreleased tracks). Randy

Honeymoon Hundred-word Reviews, Part 2

I’m on my honeymoon this week, so I thought it would be a good time to offer up some backlog-clearing entries in my occasional series of Hundred Word Reviews. And though the musical styles are all over the map, there’s a theme of sorts this time: each of the acts reviewed has been covered previously,

The Universe of Captain Sensible, Part One

Concept albums have been around for quite awhile. Opinions differ as to which was the first of the lot: some say The Pretty Things‘ SF Sorrow, while others pick the most obvious and high-profile release, The Who‘s Tommy. Still other insist that Freak Out by Frank Zappa‘s Mothers of Invention deserves the nod. All of

Album Review: The Cleaners From Venus – Living With Victoria Grey

I sometimes wonder if Martin Newell gets tired of all the Ray Davies comparisons. I mean, the man (Newell) has released something like thirty or forty albums (many of these on cassette, back in the 1980s) as Cleaners From Venus, Brotherhood of Lizards, and under his own name. While many of these were zero-budget, decidedly

Album Review: Cleaners from Venus – The Late District

On The Late District, Cleaners From Venus (the nom de pop of Martin Newell) depart ever-so-subtly from their winsome brand of pastoral, homespun pop. Newell dials back (but certainly doesn’t wholly eliminate) his powerpop tendencies, instead focusing more on his ability to craft slice-of-life vignettes that evoke his native Anglia. As he describes it, The

Album Review: The Brotherhood of Lizards – Lizardland

Martin Newell is one of the British Isles’ legendary unheralded treasures. Yes, those in the know understand and appreciate Newell’s particular brand of genius: working with a nonexistent budget and the most modest of equipment, he has for many years turned out some of the winningest pop music since, well, just since. Anyone who values

Album Review: The Cleaners From Venus – In Chimp World

In a world rife with uncertainty, it’s comforting to know that some things remain sturdily reliable. One of these things is Cleaners From Venus, the nom de rock of Martin Newell and his latest partner in chime (heh), Dave Allen. Resurrecting the band/project name he more or less retired some twenty-plus years ago, Newell released

Reconsider, Baby: Captain Sensible’s “The Universe of Geoffrey Brown”

In 1998 Captain Sensible (Ray Burns to his mum) released an album – something like his sixth — that again showcased his versatility. Though Sensible came to (primarily UK) fame as bassist in one of Britain’s seminal punk acts The Damned, in his solo work The Captain displayed his love for other forms of music

Martin Newell interview, part 3

Continued from part two… Bill Kopp: The Cleaners From Venus enjoyed – or endured — a brush with the big time in the UK around the release of ‘Ilya Kuryakin Looked at Me,’ didn’t they? Martin Newell: Yes. But I didn’t always like the show biz stuff. And I didn’t like some of the people

Martin Newell Interview, part 2

Continued from Part One… Bill Kopp: Are there any real drums on English Electric? Martin Newell: Bits and pieces, yes. You know, I never spilled the beans about what happened on The Greatest Living Englishman. I’ve never told anybody: there were some real drums on it, but mostly there weren’t. Andy Partridge produced it, and