Alternative Friday

Spreading the word about great new music

From New South Wales to Essex via Ontario, we take you on both an energetic and heart warming journey in this month’s mixtape, as we cover everything from rock & garage to RnB & pop. I love ’em all, but do spread the word about your favourites. Enjoy…


Green Buzzard – (I Don’t Wanna) Break Your Heart
Estrons – Drop
Shobha – U-Turn
Nice Place – Her Face
Of Empires – Baby Darlin’ Sugar
On Dead Waves – Blue Inside
Blush – Daggers
Rews – Shake Shake
Starseedz – Follow Me
Helen Connelly – Behind Your Eyes

Describing this as an instrumental track with an East meets West type vibe only tells half the story, as the experimental sound and atmospheric video capture the mood just perfectly. Turn the lights down and the volume up!

You can find out more about Mojomakerz in our recent Q&A.


‘Zayed’ is taken from the Mojomakerz debut album ‘Tales For Sunrise’. The video was filmed & Directed By Noel Wilson For Rampant Films.

Mojomakerz Website | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook


The music from Walsall band The Assist has quite rightly been described as having “sing along anthems and infectious guitar riffs”. The quartet formed in 2014, and are comprised of brothers Mikey (vocals) and Ryan Stanton (guitar), along with Jak Baker (bass) and Ben Faulkner (drums). They’ve already been featured here, in New Tunes #40, as well as in the January & April 2016 Mixtapes, but ahead of their debut EP release they face an Alternative Friday Q&A, so what do The Wurzels, the top of Blackpool Tower, and Graham Norton have to do with rock ‘n’ roll? Read on to find out…

Soundcloud | YouTube | Twitter | Facebook | EP on iTunes


~ Aside from two of you being brothers, how did you all meet?
We all met through friends of friends. During our school years our different friendship groups merged regularly at festivals and local gigs through the love of cool music.

~ How would you describe your music for those who may not have come across it yet?
An adventure; we say it’s unpredictable and try to bring a dance element to an indie sound, with funky bass lines and punchy drums.

~ Your debut EP comes out at the end of April. That must be hugely exciting, so what’s been the best part of it so far and what have you got planned for the launch?
Would have to be the magic of the studio, there were so many random moments of inspiration that shaped the EP, for example the operatics in ‘Love’ came from nowhere and created a real buzz. For the EP launch we’re playing two special shows; Surya in London on April 21st, and Wharf Bar in Walsall on April 23rd.



~ Mighty Atom Smasher Records (MAS Records) do a lot to support the development of new bands in the Midlands, so what have they done to help you?
M.A.S have been amazing to us, we were on the artist development label for 2 years and had over 200 hours of free rehearsal. We also learnt a lot from other bands who had previously been on the label such as Peace and Swim Deep.

~ Are there any other new bands or musicians local to you in the Walsall area that you recommend we check out?
There seems to be a fresh wave of bands in and around Walsall at the moment after a quiet few years, we’d recommend checking out FAITH and Pollen.

~ You’ve played live at numerous venues up and down the UK, but what’s been your favourite gig and why?
Tough one to call because there’s rarely a gig we don’t enjoy and make the most of. We played the top of Blackpool tower for HMV’s Christmas party which was a special night. However our biggest gig to date headlining a sold out Wolverhampton Slade Rooms will take some beating!

~ If you could curate a festival stage, what four bands would you invite to perform?
Mikey – Gorillaz
Ryan – Cage The Elephant
Jak – Pearl Jam
Ben – Happy Mondays

~ If you could borrow a musician from another band for a day who would it be and why?
Would probably say either ‘Myles Kellock’ from Blossoms or ‘Alexis Taylor’ of Hot Chip. Myles would add loads to our live performance, he’s a magician on the keys. We’d love to take Alexis into the studio for a day to make use of his genius creativity.


~ What do you have planned for the next few months following the EP’s release?
We’re just going to play more and more shows to further promote the EP, and we’ve got some great festivals lined up such as Lodestar.
We will also be in the studio in May recording some exciting new stuff. The EP is just the beginning!

~ Aside from music, do any of you have any other creative skills? (or obscure talents!)
Mikey is a fitness freak and the rest of us all have a unique talent of making pints disappear.

~ What song would you sing at a karaoke if no one you knew was watching?
It’s no secret Ry loves a karaoke, there isn’t a pub in Walsall where he hasn’t yet performed his rendition of ‘The Wurzels’ – Cider Drinker. Jak fills in for the encore with his classic, ‘ABBA’ – Dancing Queen.

~ And finally… what would it take for you to do Eurovision!
We’d do anything to meet Graham Norton!


Whittling the shortlist down to the tracks below was even harder than usual this month, such was the quality, but it’s another eclectic mix taking us from new wave to gospel folk, via indie, blues rock, and a stunning ballad. Enjoy…

Public Access TV – On Location
Heist – Floor Light Flickers
Chirping – Heist
The Assist – Nyabinghi
Michael Jablonka – Honey Dripper
Brookfield – Kaleidoscope
The Collisions – Voices
77 Bombay Street – Seven Mountains
Lake Ruth – The Inconsolable Jean-Claude
Richard Walters – AM


Inside album artwork by Ben Duarri aka ‘Screen Prince’, created using lyrics from the album. Each picture is a song.

Mojomakerz are an experimental music project created by Lincolnshire based musician & songwriter Paul Hegarty, who teamed up with Scottish musician, songwriter, & producer Ian James Stewart from the band Strangeways. The outcome of their collaboration is the musically rich album Tales For Sunrise, which also sees (among others) the producer Youth (Killing Joke), legendary musician Robert Wyatt, and Tony Foster (Spiritualized) putting in a shift. This Q&A is with Paul Hegarty, so read on to find out how it all came together, and what Cheech & Chong have to do with rock ‘n’ roll…

Website | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook

~ How did the two of you come together as Mojomakerz?
I’ve known Ian for over 20 years now & used to hang out with Davey, Ian’s younger brother. We used to go over to Ian’s studio all the time & over time I got to see how the studio & the recording process worked. I’ve always been in awe of Ian’s immense musical talent, so when I made some Mojomakerz demos a couple of years ago I took them over to him. He really liked the demos so I asked him to come on-board with Mojomakerz & that’s basically how we got together.

~ There’s a wide array of influences in your music, but how would you best describe it for those who may not have come across it yet?
It’s a cross between rock, electronica, and ambient music, with hints of Middle Eastern & African influences thrown in across the whole album. It’s a kind of east meets west vibe & It works really well too.

~ What did you find most challenging about the making the album?
In actual fact making the album was very organic, it all came together naturally. Luckily for us there weren’t really any challenges as such during the making of the album, as we are 100% independent & were releasing the album on my own label, so I think if anything, organising & getting everyone into the studio as everyone has busy schedules was probably the hardest challenge! In all honesty that wasn’t too hard as everyone loved the tracks & wanted to get involved, which was fantastic for us.

~ How did you get to collaborate with so many well-known names on the album?
I first met Youth 25 years ago when I lived in Mojacar, Spain, & was playing guitar in a rock band called The Flying Vultures. We had Keith Webb (Donovan’s drummer from the 60’s) on drums, & Youth was staying at Keith’s apartment, and one day Keith sent Youth over to mine to meet up & during his stay he came over to mine quite a few time to ‘socialise’ so to speak!

I contacted Youth again a couple of years ago & asked him if he’d take a look at the Mojomakerz website. Anyway he invited me to his house in London for a meeting to discuss the album, & I took a long 4 rough mixes of the album tracks. After he’d heard them he simply said he’d like to mix the album for us as he really liked the tracks, but he also gave us some great advice about changing a couple of things in the tracks, so that happened & I sent the finished mixes to Youth & we went from there!

I must add that I went to Youth with no expectations whatsoever, so naturally I was blown away by hearing this. Unsigned, unheard of and having one of the worlds best producers want to mix our album! It was a bit surreal, it really was, but it also gave us even more confidence because we already knew we were making great album. Youth invited me to London because he also knew we had Robert Wyatt on the album, & as Robert is now ‘officially retired’ Youth wanted to know how we had got Robert involved as he’d turned down a lot of work with major artists. Well, Ian has worked & known Robert for a number of years now & so basically what happened was that Ian played a couple of tracks to Robert, Robert loved the tracks and offered to help us out, that was that, fantastic! I met Tony Foster & Jason Pierce from Spiritualized whilst I was down at Youth’s, as he was producing their new album for them, & I got on really well with Tony, so when we completed the rough mixes & had sent these to Youth, he got back to me saying Tony loved the tracks & would love to get involved if possible. Again that was really great for us… basically it snowballed like that all the way so that’s how we got to work with everyone involved on the album.

~ Who were your musical heroes when you were growing up?
I really liked Chuck Berry & many of the blues greats like BB King etc. I also really liked Ian Dury & The Blockheads, Pink Floyd, Bowie… basically I was into everything across the board when I was growing up, from Metal to Reggae to Rock to Pop & some classical sounds too!

~ Which famous song by another artist would you love to have written yourself?
Imagine by John Lennon, I think it’s one of the greatest songs written.


~ If you were appearing on ‘Later with Jools Holland’, which track from the album would you choose to perform and why?
It would have to be ‘Ship Of Fools, in my opinion, as the track is very apt with what’s going on around the world today, who’s running this place & what’s going on? We’re all sailing on a ship of fools… the track says it all really, so it would be ideal.

~ What are your plans for 2016?
We plan to release an EP which we have already started working on, & possibly a few more mixes from the album. Live gigs is also something we have discussed as well but we’ll see how the year goes & get some more material together first.

~ Are there any other new bands or musicians local to you in Lincolnshire that you recommend we check out?
Our keyboard player from the album Charlotte Hubbard is in a folk band called Kinfolk.

~ Who would you choose to play the two of you in a film about Mojomakerz?
Haha… well, ooh err, perhaps Cheech & Chong would pull it off well!

~ Who is your musical Guilty Pleasure?
Okay, I also like listening to Prince, yes the Purple one… I think the man’s an absolute musical genius.

~ What would you tell your teenage self?
Don’t listen to people trying to put you off your dreams, & don’t share your dreams with just anyone!


I’m not sure a New Tunes has ever covered African soul, urban folk, country rock, and something quite ambient all at the same time! If it’s a first it’s because they’re all quite outstanding creations though, so which are your favs…


Matthew the Oxx – Haul It Up
Havana, havana, havana cigar… isn’t your everyday start to a song, but it kicks off Haul It Up with a rousing energy that keeps you hooked until the very end. Matthew the Oxx is possibly better known for his folk tracks, but this adds a country rock feel to it too. A wonderfully catchy combination of styles.
Website | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook


Lewis Bootle – All I Know
This is a gem of a tune with captivating lyrics by singer, songwriter and guitarist Lewis Bootle, from Ware in Hertfordshire, but is it urban folk or acoustic rap? I’ll let you decide.
Website | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook


Haula – Freedom
Exotic vocals and an uplifting tune combining soul, blues, and African influences, make for a wonderful sound from London and Oxford based singer and pianist Haula Nakakembo. The production is highly polished production too. Gorgeous.
Website | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook


Mojomakerz – Zayed
There are so many different ways you could describe the music from the Tales for Sunrise album by Lincolnshire based musician & songwriter Paul Hegarty, and Scottish musician & producer Ian James Stewart, but I’ve called it a mix of experimental, electronic, & ambient. Either way, this atmospheric “East meets West” track and video should start your colourful Mojomakerz journey with a smile.
Website | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook

It may be cold outside, but the varied array of tunes in this month’s Mixtape should warm you up, as they cover everything from post punk and garage, to urban folk and electro pop, with numerous other gems in-between. Enjoy…


Let’s Away – Control
Matthew the Oxx – Haul It Up
Rews – Death Yawn
Lewis Bootle – All I Know
Filter Distortion – Another Life
Semantics – My Detainer
Martyn Peters – Save Me From Myself
The Isabelles – Fall Away – April
Anna Pancaldi – Runaway
Albert Man – Do You Think About Me


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