Posts Tagged ‘Hooten Tennis Club’

Pretenders – Alone

Chrissie Hynde returns with the first Pretenders album in eight years. Alone was recorded with the Black Keys Dan Auerbach at his Easy Eye Studio in Nashville, and features Hynde on vocals and guitar joined by bassist Dave Roe (Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn), pedal steel guitarist Russ Pahl (Blake Shelton), guitarist Kenny Vaughan (Lana Del Rey), keyboardist Leon Michels, and drummer Richard Swift.


Hooton Tennis Club release their second album, Big Box Of Chocolates produced by Edwyn Collins at his Clashnarrow Studios in Helmsdale, Scotland. If their debut album, Highest Point In Cliff Town, released in August last year, was the band’s sprightly statement of intent, Big Box of Chocolates may well be their coming-of-age: a record that retains all the colour and invention of their debut, while being elevated by richer instrumentation and lyrics that hint at slightly heavier themes: love and loss, nihilism and the ‘non-spaces’ of Northern England, all delivered in the band’s typically laconic, bittersweet style, like a Mersey Beat Murakami. The dozen tracks continue the band’s knack of combining catchy off-kilter riffs with droll storytelling; album narrators – vocalists and guitarists Ryan Murphy and James Madden – seem to straddle optimism and uncertainty with their lyrics, whether singing about their internal worlds or commenting on a motley cast of characters (Bootcut Jimmy, BBC 6Music presenter Lauren Laverne, Lazers Linda…) who turn up across the album’s 41 minutes to amuse, tempt or torment them. Whether fictional (the awkward genius Jimmy ‘looking shifty in his new shoes’) or real (Ryan’s ex-housemate immortalised in first single Katy-Anne Bellis), each character shares an equal platform, all revered in Hooton’s own low-key way. Recorded over three weeks in Helmsdale, during which time they all grew beards, drank copious amounts of tea, became birdwatchers and whiskey tipplers, the album reflects the band’s relaxed approach to songwriting ; they tend not to labour over recording demos or strumming and beating the life out of songs in the practice room -instead, ideas are allowed to form spontaneously: melodies are hummed into phones or computers, lyrics batted back and forth between Murphy and Madden, songs worked out alone in the bedroom, or layered up from scratch together in the studio.

LP – Yellow Vinyl with Download.


Big Star – Complete Third

The small but rabid cult of Big Star, composed initially of rock critics and hometown Memphis hipsters, coalesced around 1972’s ‘No#1 Record’, which supercharged the legacy of the Beatles and Byrds, and 1974’s ‘Radio City’, which brought additional attitude and poignancy to the recipe. The shimmering brilliance of Big Star’s sound and songs on those two LPs, along with its underdog allure, would have been sufficient to perpetuate the band’s legend. But there was a third album, and that strange beast of a record made all the difference for subsequent generations of fans – many of whom formed bands of their own – who turned each other on to this music as if it were a secret religion or a trippy new drug. After more than a decade of looking for additional music beyond the original album that is Big Star’s Third, the search is now over. While some demos and alternate versions of songs have dribbled out over the years across various compilations, all extant recordings made for the album are presented here for the first time in ‘Complete Third’. The collection boasts 69 total tracks, 28 of which are previously unheard session recordings, demos and alternate mixes made by producer Jim Dickinson and engineer John Fry. The set allows the listener to track the creation of the album from the original demos, through sessions to rough mixes made by Dickinson and Fry, to the final masters of each song. Besides the contextualizing main essay from writer / A&R man, Bud Scoppa, extensive notes from original participants and artists influenced by Big Star are also included: Mary Lindsay Dickinson, Mitch Easter, Adam Hill, Elizabeth A. Hoehn, Susanna Hoffs, Peter Holsapple, Gary Louris, Mike Mills, Cheryl Pawelski, Debbi Peterson, Pat Rainer, Danny Graflund, Jeff Rougvie, Pat Sansone, Chris Stamey, Jody Stephens, John Stirratt, Ken Stringfellow and Steve Wynn. Initially, the collection will be released in a 3-CD boxed set and with three separate double LPs to follow, each vinyl volume representing a CD in the boxed set.

V600 kd instigator 1600

Kevin Devine – Instigator

Produced by John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.), Instigator is Kevin Devine’s ninth full-length album and comes on the heels of a busy few years: In addition to recording two albums with Bad Books (the indie-rock supergroup he formed with members of Manchester Orchestra), he released the Kickstarter-funded double-album collection Bubblegum and Bulldozer in 2013 along with the wildly ambitious 2015 Devinyl Splits 7” series with the likes of Brand New’s Jesse Lacey, Perfect Pussy’s Meredith Graves and Nada Surf’s Matthew Caws. Devine is a master storyteller, and he imbues Instigator – from the biting power-pop of Both Ways to the angular Guard Your Gates and gorgeously finger-picked No One Says You Have To – with intricate details and often-uncomfortable truths. Their meanings are personal, but their themes are universal. It’s a skill that makes both his albums and his live show so alluring: Even when Devine’s writing about the world at large, he’s pointing a mirror back at himself. When Devine’s past lives meet his present-day self on the career- defining I Was Alive Back Then, the beautiful duality of his art takes center stage: Life is never all peril or perfection, a country ripped apart by war and social injustice or the joy of holding your child for the first time. The extremes might be easier to define, but it’s in the middle where life really happens.


Agnes Obel  –  Citizen of Glass

Highly anticipated stunning third album from Danish born singer- songwriter Agnes Obel, the follow up to her UK breakthrough record Aventine. Recorded, mixed and produced by Obel in Berlin, where she currently resides, Citizen Of Glass is a work of haunting beauty and an expansion of Obel’s mesmerising world. The title surfaced in Obel’s mind while touring Aventine and, inspired by modern composers, the album conceptually and thematically revolves around the leitmotif of transparency. On this record Obel experiments with her vocals in inventive new ways, in order to manipulate them into alternative versions of her own voice, as can be heard on first single Familiar. Obel also incorporates a number of different instruments, such as the Trautonium (an extremely rare instrument that possesses a glistening, glass-like sound), alongside vibraphone, cembalo, cellos and more.

Crocodiles  –  Dreamless

Comprised of best friends Brandon Welchez and Charles Rowell, Crocodiles have earned their place as one of the United States’ most engaging, hardworking and consistent rock and roll bands of the past few years. Dreamless is the pair’s sixth LP, their most exploratory and focused release. Crocodiles’ first two albums made their home within a stew of fuzzed-out psychedelia, and the following three albums explored pop sensibilities placed against whirring guitars and barbed production, but on this latest album the duo’s artistic departure places their guitars in the backseat in favor of a more spacious, synthesizer and piano-driven sound. The title of the album works levels: “I suffered insomnia throughout the whole session. I was literally dreamless,” explains Welchez. “The past two years had been fraught with difficulty for us—relationship troubles, career woes, financial catastrophe, health issues,” he continues. “It was easy to feel as if the dream was over.” Recorded in Mexico City once again by friend and occasional bandmate Martin Thulin (Exploded View), Dreamless keeps the exemplary production on Crocodiles’ previous releases and reconciles their realigned focus on keys by pairing down the instrumentation to allow lyrical sentiments and themes to cut through.

Hooton Tennis Club Tour Dates

Hooten Tennis Club’s follow up to last summer’s Highest Point In Cliff Town is extreamly impresive, and with Edwyn Collins on production duties they have realised their true pop potential. It has a looseness like the first album still evident on Big Box of Chocolates, but made shiny and new under Collins’ watchful eye.

With no difficult second album issues, Hooton Tennis Club made massive strides in short fourteen months since Cliff Town gigging constitenly. Live they’re more disciplined while retaining that engaging sense of fun, and on this album, lyricists Ryan Murphy and James Madden‘s always sideways observations of life, are as clever as ever. Each track on Big Box of Chocolates is a short story of sorts, emotions laid more honestly here than by its predecessor, showing a growing confidence .  Tales of friendships, the notion of an era at an end as a flatmate moves out in Katy-Anne Bellis carries a coming of age melancholia, a sense of innocence now passed.

Statue Of The Greatest Woman I Know presents us with a surf guitar surprise, and Lauren, I’m In Love! brings out the biggest smiles, a cute Happy Days love letter to the 6 Music presenter. O Man, Won’t You Melt Me?  touches the tenderest spot, and breaks our hearts. ‘I can tell that her man’s not me, it’s not me / Why would she change it all for me?’ Blimey, woman – whoever you are, give the lad a break, will you?

It’s only the final song on the record, the title track, on the album though feels like a slight hangover from  Highest Point In Cliff Town, dragging its feet in an effort to keep up. But the album  Big Box of Chocolates, for the most part, is proof Hooton Tennis Club are reaching maturity. This is a bloody good record.

Here’s the clip (as promised) for ‘O Man, Won’t You Melt Me?’, (apt title for 2016?) Watch us roll around and frolic in clusters of vivid autumnal coloured rotting leaves for near 4 minutes.
‘Oh, Man Won’t You Melt Me’ by Hooton Tennis Club from the album ‘Big Box of Chocolates.’ Out on Heavenly Recordings, produced by Edwyn Collins.

Wirral alt. rock champions Hooton Tennis Club, Firm favourites of BBC 6 Music, the melodic slacker rock group have become a fêted live attraction, with a lengthy European tour behind them. On the road throughout the last quarter of 2016, with their brand new and critically acclaimed second LP Big Box of Chocolates, which has just been released. The follow up to rapturously received gloruis debut album Highest Point in Cliff Town, the new disc was produced by revered singer songwriter Edwyn Collins at his studio in Helmsdale, Scotland.

Signed to the wonderful storied indie label Heavenly Recordings, Hooton Tennis Club inked a deal with the set-up at Glastonbury Festival following a 2014 performance that won over label founder Jeff Barrett.








This song is about Ryan’s ex-flatmate, Katy-Anne. She’s lived in the house for one year and three months. It’s just a mushy song about moving house and staying in touch.

‘A Big Box of Chocolates’ is set to be released on 21st October via Heavenly Recordings, and was recorded in Scotland with producer Edwyn Collins.

The band are also set to head out on a massive UK tour to support the record

Pre-Order our new album ‘Big Box of Chocolates’ here:


Ninetees slacker indie rock is still an influence and few are doing it was well as Liverpool’s Hooton Tennis Club. Their debut album which was produced by former Coral member Bill Ryder-Jones, falls somewhere between Pavement and The Pastels and has all the earmarks of peak college radio: charmingly shambolic, wonderfully wordy, and jam-packed with hooks . The Merseyside music’s 2015 fairytale success story was completed the moment Hooton Tennis Club inked their deal with Jeff Barrett‘s Heavenly Recordings – yet few could have seen how four Wirral lads’ shiny-sloppy intentions could translate into one of UK music’s finest debut albums in recent years. In under 40 minutes, Highest Point In Cliff Town represents 12 sure-fire near-instant winners which simply radiates with effervescent punch-the-air charm. Crammed with singles, it’s almost impossible to highlight the peaks, yet in live set closer, Always Coming Back 2 You, they penned the sound of this year’s summer festivals.


Hooton Tennis Club tune up in front of a Marquee packed with people sopping wet from the downpour outside. Other than a muted chant of ‘Hooton! Hooton!’ it seems like most are here to shelter.
The Liverpool quartet  with a Brooklyn Sound come offstage soaked in sweat, leaving a tent full of converts to their heavy-riffing twin guitar indie rock, Could be Merseyside’s answer to Parquet Courts. It’s all about ‘Powerful Pierre’, a three-minute barrage of sandpaper-rough guitars and shouted vocals from singing guitarists James Madden and Ryan Murphy. The fact that Hooton Tennis Club are itching to make as much noise as possible. The rain does Hooton Tennis Club a favour, and their fuzzy melodies and headbanging stage presence ensure a bustling crowd stays put. This time next year they’ll be powering through songs from debut album ‘Highest Point In Cliff Town’ due 28th August on Heavenly Recordings on the John Peel stage at Glastonbury. With a year to bed in, and on a much bigger PA, they’ll be massive. Check them out at Summer Festivals

To coincide with the track, the band have revealed a new video which seeʼs them frolicking in the park as well as performing at our Heavenly 25 birthday party earlier this year.




Hooton Tennis Club are four good friends from Liverpool who release their debut single for Heavenly Recordings,  titled “Jasper ” on Monday February 23rd 2015. The band began catching attention at the tail end of 2014. Signing with Heavenly Recordings, the group hooked up with Bill Ryder-Jones to focus on fresh material.

It’s a wonderfully fuzzy slice of guitar pop. No doubt in awe of Teenage Fanclub and Guided By Voices, there’s a real sense of Englishness to the songwriting – whether that’s in the downbeat melodies, or the lyrics which talk of a wet Wednesday.