Snow Palms – Origin And Echo

Although latterly less prolific in releasing recorded wares, veteran Ellis Island Sound, Phelan Sheppard and State River Widening polymath David Sheppard certainly hasn’t curbed his sonic ambitions.  Last heard officially in 2015 on his first proper solo LP Vertical Land - which sailed multi-instrumentalist ingenuity and erudite magpie-like … [Read more...]

David John Sheppard – Vertical Land

Since adopting a polymathic approach to music making twenty or so years ago David Sheppard has had no shortage of close collaborators to share outlets for his flights of instrumental imagination.  Working with the likes of school pal Keiron Phelan (within State River Widening and Phelan Sheppard), ex-Loft/Weather Prophet leader Peter Astor (in … [Read more...]

Artists On Albums: AOA#43 (Keiron Phelan on The Psychomodo)

Keiron Phelan on… Cockney Rebel’s The Psychomodo (EMI, 1974) There was always something gloriously ‘wrong’ about (the first incarnation of) Cockney Rebel. Like a misbegotten romance between a kohl-eyed hippie chick and a suedehead, Rebel existed in a world of musical contradictions and unlikelihood. Their flint eyed, silver haired, bowler … [Read more...]

Ellis Island Sound – Divisions

Having made us wait the best part of seven years between 2007’s The Good Seed and 2014’s Regions, it’s somewhat remarkable - but entirely welcome - that another Ellis Island Sound release should reach us so soon in the form of this seven-track mini-album.  Although featuring material chiselled during the same sessions as the well-carved Regions … [Read more...]

Ellis Island Sound – Regions

Over the last 16 or so years, Peter Astor and David Sheppard have seemingly used Ellis Island Sound as a low-key repository for ideas overspilling from their higher-profile work together and apart (The Wisdom Of Harry, State River Widening, Phelan Sheppard, Snow Palms, solo projects and so on).  Moving from the bedroom-built electronica of early … [Read more...]

littlebow – Pi Magpie

Having so beautifully and imaginatively rehabilitated the flute as a lead instrument across 2011’s The Edge Blown Aerophone, Keiron Phelan and Katie English return here as the still capital letter phobic littlebow, with a second full-length studio offering for the increasingly prolific Second Language label.  Whilst the freshly-released Pi Magpie … [Read more...]

Snow Palms – Intervals

It feels like it’s been just a little too long since we last had an album featuring the multi-talented David Sheppard leading or co-leading the way.  If this writer’s memory is correct then the last time Sheppard jointly-headed-up a long-player officially was back in 2008 as one third of Smile Down Upon Us (a pan-global collaboration between … [Read more...]

littlebow – The Edge Blown Aerophone

Whilst this new duo-led collaboration between Keiron Phelan (State River Widening, Phelan Sheppard, Smile Down Upon Us) and Katie English (Isnaj Dui, The Owl Service) holds an ostensibly restrictive and conceptual remit akin to other releases on the Second Language label, it’s far from being an insular or uninviting partnership.  Largely focused on … [Read more...]

Artists-On-Albums: AOA#8 (David Sheppard on Liberation Music Orchestra)

David Sheppard (Ellis Island Sound, State River Widening, Phelan Sheppard) on… Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra (Impulse!, 1969) I first heard this album in a front room in Vauxhall, a little over a decade ago (thank you, Patrick).  I can still remember the warm, exciting and instantly familiar feeling it gave me. It has provoked … [Read more...]