Highly Recomended Music

Helen McCookerybook - beautiful music, beautiful voice



Recently played a gig with these two bands in Middlesbrough and we were blown away by both:


SWINE TAX (hard-hitting)

SHRUG (mesmerising)



Oliver Cherer's DOLLBOY http://www.dollboy.co.uk/home.html

Ollie is a Frequent collaborator with us he played trumpet on The King And I  from
and he also played a saw on the same albums The Snip
I have often used his discarded tunes and added my own words to make new springs songs (waste not want not)
Check out CD 2 of the EVERYONE'S CUP OF TEA album for some of Ollie's great music

COMET GAIN http://www.last.fm/music/Comet+Gain

Like minded travellers on the Musical backroads
The latest album Howl Of The Lonely Crowd is a corker
And Clang Of The Concrete Swans (superb opening song) has a title i'd kill for
click on the link below to listen and read Kofi Smith's spot on Review

BAND OF HOLY JOY http://www.bandofholyjoy.co.uk/

The very brilliant Holy Joy and Johny Brown the heart and soul of London town
Often played live together with the Springs Johny Brown Sings on 'Dont Write A Song'

From the
album such Great art work as always on latest 7 inch sleeve by Inga Tillere
BRITISH SEA POWER http://www.britishseapower.co.uk/news

Englands most inventive band
A joyous live experience reminds me of all those great Kitchens Of Distinction gigs

JACK HAYTER http://www.jackhayter.com/mainpage.html

Jack has played some lovely pedal steel with us live and on CD
He also sings a duet with me on
Deep Black Water   from the POOR TRACE EP
his voice sounds like someone gargling with stinging nettles and Roofing nails
and puts my 30 years of non smoking asthma wheeze to shame

VIC GODARD http://www.vicgodard.co.uk/

Vic has been close to the Springs from as far back as
Played live together on lots of occasions, both as the Springs and as Subway Sect,
We have played and sung on each others albums over the last few years.
It's a big shame we never got make a proper album together as Vic and The Bitter Springs -
The closest we got to that was the couple of tracks released as the
The picture above is a live album cover that features us on a number of songs
and it's available from Vic's web site

DARREN HAYMAN http://www.hefnet.com/

The real Essex man
Darren has more ideas in one nights dreaming than most people have in a lifetime awake
His latest album LIDO an instrumental homage to Englands open air swimming pools
comes in a stuning hand made sleeve .. and they are selling like pool side sunbeds
what about Hampton's open air pool Darren? I was there when Bushy Park caught fire .. great times
PIANO MAGIC www.piano-magic.co.uk

I've been lucky to be invited to contribute (lyrics/voice) a couple of times to Glen Johnson's Piano Magic
hope to get the call again sometime

SPEARMINT/SHIRLEY LEE www.spearmint.net/

We've played some great gigs with both Spearmint and Shirley solo
they really are a national treasure the ICA spearmint gig was one of the best the Rivers family have seen

BILLY CHILDISH http://www.last.fm/music/Billy+Childish

This man does it all ..his record sleeves alone are better than most art hanging in the London galleries
and his cat looks like my Fagora
THE FALLhttp://www.visi.com/fall/

Mark E Smith ..don't even mention the Beatles .. they're not in the same league
This man along with Dylan and Bowie has been a constant reminder to this apprentice songwriter
That the only limit is your Imagination

MORTON VALLENCE http://mortonvalence.com/gallery.html

Wonderful London based band we've played with a couple of times
their song chandelier is pure pop perfection
FISHWIFES BROADSIDE http://www.fishwifesbroadside.co.uk/

Played with the Broadside and Glorious old bastard (pre acoustic name) on many a happy occasion
been blown away by them a few times as well

STEPHEN HERO http://www.stephenhero.co.uk/

Forever known in this house as Patrick Kitchen because of his former band
The legendary
Kitchens Of Distinction (The greatest live band ever)
Patrick records these days under the name Stephen Hero and is making music that is as beautiful as it ever was
and (great news KOD fans) Julian Swales has been working with Patrick on some new songs
get Dan Goodwin back behind the drum kit and bingo ...Kitchens reformed

DEXY'S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS http://dexys.info/

It's great to have Dexy's back saw them at Shepherds Bush Empire earlier this year
A very emotional night
The new album is not the classic i'd first thought (hoped) but it has some great moments
From what i've read Kevin Rowland seems to be running on the same low self esteem as I am
So 26 years between albums is good going all things considered

Making great music under many names Mark Tranmer and Roger Quigley
Were label mates of ours when we recorded for Richard O'brien's Salford based Vespertine label
And Mark kindly donated the music to
THAT SENTIMENTAL SLUSH track Beautiful Things
Check out his gorgeous new instrumental album
How Scarlet The Leaves
And the
Mongolfier Brothers lp All My Bad Thoughts is Sublime
The only reveiw i've ever written is for this album on Amazon

TERRY EDWARDShttp://www.terryedwards.co.uk/intro.html

This man has made so many great records it's incredible
I first met Terry at a Piano magic session where we both played on the same song
Englands Always Better (as you're pulling away)
I knew then that he was the man for the Springs

THE SHORT STORIES http://www.myspace.com/theshortstories/music

Another great band we have played with they have a new lp coming soon
ASBO DEREKhttp://www.myspace.com/asboderekappeartohavesh/music

Sounding like the Fall circa Grotesque but with a sense of humor
( Hang on that is the Fall circa Grotesque)

THE LONG DECLINE http://www.myspace.com/longdecline2

Musical vehicle for the poetry of Kenny Wisdom
had more members than the Fall including one or two Springs
ALTERNATIVE TV http://www.last.fm/music/Alternative+TV

Mark Perry
Still one of this country's sharpest song writers (southern Mark Smith?)
And one of the nicest blokes you're likely to meet in the grubby world of gigs around Britain
And of course Lee McFadden
  is in the band and that ought to be recomendation enough for anyone
(and Last Party once played with them in Brighton)

JAKE THACKRAY http://www.jakethackray.com/about-and-faq/biog.html

This is England, this is England and this is England
TENDER FOREVER http://tenderforever.com/blog/

Played a festival in Seville with Tender Forever .. blew me away