Hello and welcome to the October edition of the Pennyblackmusic Magazine, the first on our new look site and in its new format.

Regular visitors to this site will see that we have put through the first lot in a series of extensive changes to Pennyblackmusic. We have switched over the course of the last few month to a new server, and in the process have made both our site slicker in design, easier to find your way around and hopefully much faster to use.

Our magazine maintains some of the format of the eight years since we first opened the site in September 1998 and its past. There are still the usual range of interviews, live reviews and album and single reviews.

In our interviews section, our lead interview this month is the first instalment in a three part interview with Bobby Wratten and Beth Arzy of Trembling Blue Stars. Formed out of the ashes of the Field Mice, possibly 'twee pop'Sarah Label’s best known band and one of the great C86 groups, Trembling Blue Stars have garnered a reputation over the last decade for creating music of a delicate, but lush nature which incorporates tender acoustic guitars, more full-bodied keyboards, male/female vocals and contemplative, often heartbreaking lyrics. The group are currently working on their seventh album, which Wratten says will be his last before retiring from the music scene. Anthony Strutt spoke to him and Arzy in the band’s native Croydon about its long history.

We have also got interviews with indiepop act Lovejoy, the project of Brighton-based singer-songwriter Richard Preece ; rising pop punk trio the Victorian English Gentlemens’ Club and C86 group Rumblefish

There are interviews as well with late 80’s and 90’s No Wave act and colleagues of the Fall Ut.; former Creation signings and instrumental post rock rock/electronica/industrial group the Telescopes and the second in our three part interview with Dave Jackson, the singer with Liverpudlian 80’s groups the Room, Benny Profane and the Dead Cowboys.

We are running new live reviews of shows by Devendra Banhart, Nashville Pussy, the Aggrolites, Lupen Crook, the Bell Orchestre and Shout Out Out Out. We are also running 32 album and single reviews.

In our regular ‘Re : View’ column, in which we look back at albums from the past, there are pieces on ex-Velvet Underground star John Cale’s 1973 solo album ‘Paris 1919’and New Order and Joy Division bassist Peter Hook’s early 90’s project Revenge’s only studio album ‘One True Passion’. Our Website of the Month is meanwhile the Indie Travel Guide, a city by city guide to the best indie clubs, record shops and bars around the world.

Elsewhere though we have created some major changes. Our Label column of the last five years has gone and in its place we have created a space for ‘Profiles’. We will still be running interviews from behind the scenes in music , but are hoping to broaden our focus here beyond labels and begin this month with an interview with famous former Kerrang journalist Mick Wall. Band biographies and histories, and the occasional book and DVD review will be moved to this section

In our features section both Ben Howarth’s ‘Condemned to Rock ‘n’ Roll’ and Anna Gudaniec’s ‘Photoscapes’ series stay, but we have again extended our scope and have two new series.

In the first which is entitled ‘Tales from the Sound Desk’ Phil Vincent, back at Pennyblackmusic after a year’s absence, will be writing about his often hilarious experiences working as a sound engineer and begins in the first of a two part article by telling of the chaos of running the sound desks at the TDK Cross Festival in London in August.

In the second series which is called ‘Soundtracks of Our Lives’ and which will be a rotating column and is about the effect on music at important moments in our writers' lives,Mark Rowland tells of how listening to Lightning Bolt has got him through a first week of commuter hell.

A magazine of this size of course obviously involves the work of many people.Thank you to all of our current regular team of Aaron Brown, Malcolm Carter, Andrew Carver, Daniel Cressey, Anthony Dhanendran, Dixie Ernill, Anna Gudaniec, Tommy Gunnarsson, Alex Halls,, Ben Howarth, Adrian Huggins, Sarah Johnson, Chris Jones, Geraint Jones, Jamie Rowland, Mark Rowland, Maarten Schiethart, Dominic Simpson, Olga Sladeckova, Anthony Strutt, Helen Tipping , Dave Toynton ,Andy Vincent, Phil Vincent. Denzil Watson and Adam Wood for all their good humour, patience and continued enthusiasm as we have spent the last year getting the site ready for these developments.

Special thanks to Richard Banks at Pennyblackmusic HQ. Richard is the site’s web master as well as founder and has been the driving force behind Pennyblackmusic getting its new “face”. Eternally modest and self-effacing, he is in many ways the unsung hero of the site, and has put in a lot of late nights and weekends to get these changes through. Without him of course, we would all still be wallowing in the dark ages of technology, if here at all and none of this would be possible.

We will be back in mid October with our regular mid-month reviews up-date and then in November with another full magazine.

We will be starting Pennyblackmusic Radio then with DJs Maarten Schiethart and Jamie Rowland each providing two hour radio shows that can be accesed on-lineinitially once a month.

We hope to be running interviews then with Josef K, Kathryn Wiliiams, Siouxsie and the Banshees’ Steve Severin, Francis MacDonald, Wilco’s Jay Bennett, Mi and L’au, Seachange Palace Fires, Aberdeen and Good Shoes. There will also be the third and final part of our interview with Dave Jackson,and the second part of our interview with Trembling Blue Stars There will be more from the Profile slot. We will also have another Re : View and Website of the Month and more features, live reviews and album and single reviews.

Thank you as always for reading.

John Clarkson
Magazine Editor

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