THE GOLD NEEDLES are from Hull. PEARLS has been described as Power Pop with psych and prog elements. All true but, most important, melody is king on this 18 track delicacy.

Mark English and Simon Dowson talk about their new record and more … .

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixtape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

This was really hard and we had a good discussion about how best to woo a lady. We wanted to appear cool but not obscure so we went for the following:

It’s My Life – Talk Talk

And Your Bird Can Sing – The Beatles

Skin Deep – The Stranglers

Air That I Breathe – The Hollies

Untouchable – Rialto

Hopefully that selection would secure a second date. If not then we would have to question her taste and we wouldn’t want to be with her anyway…….

Which is the song you wish you had written every time you hear it? And why?

We would have loved to have written Yesterday or Merry Xmas Everybody so we wouldn’t have to ever work again! Failing that, Dancing With Myself by Gen X is the perfect powerpop song. It builds, it’s simple with a great beat, it has a great riff, great lyrics and a great hook. And the album it’s from, Kiss Me Deadly, is grossly underrated. Well worth a listen.

If you could tour the world with 2 other bands, who would you ask to join?

I’m going to cheat a little here and jump in a time machine back to 1977. We would have loved to have been part of the Stiff Live Stiffs tour. Imagine the package of Ian Dury and the Blockheads, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe and Wreckless Eric. Although we would probably have needed a spell in rehab afterwards! For a current band we would plump for King Crimson. Their shows are awesome, often featuring 3 drummers, countless guitarists and Robert Fripp’s outrageous and inventive lead guitar.

If the budget was unlimited, how would you record the next record?

A big studio would be perfect with a top class producer. Abbey Road with Tony Visconti or Andy Partridge would be ideal. Failing that our local studio, Fairview, with Bill Nelson would be excellent. And not just because I could walk there and back! Simon would love Trevor Horn in Sarm Studio. Now that would test the budget.

What’s up for 2018?

This is shaping up to be an incredibly busy year. We’ve just released our album, PEARLS, on US label koolkatmusik. It’s available on cd and download however, if we can get enough interest, it will be released on vinyl as well. In May we are appearing at the world famous Cavern Club in Liverpool as part of the IPO Festival and in June we are supporting Duncan Reid and The Big Heads. At the beginning of August our cover of SMELL OF INCENSE is being released on Fruits de Mer Records. The single is being launched at their 16th Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival at which we will be performing an acoustic set. In September we are bringing The Darling Buds to Hull to do a gig with them. We’ve also submitted a track to Canadian label, TBM Records, for their tribute album to Adrian Borland and The Sound. Our cover of COUNTING THE DAYS will feature. This album should be released later this year. And we continue to write and record. Exciting times ahead!!!




If you like The Killers, The White Stripes, Royal Blood, Spoon, Weezer, The Black Keys … you will probably like Jackie Daytona. Big time!

Garage Power Pop from Texas.

Jackie Daytona is Jackie himself and drummer Justin Robinson. The two released their debut ep She’s so Hot a little while ago and it is just great! Big songs, big hooks, big words.

Buy She’s So Hot here


What was the biggest fun during the making of the last album?  

The most fun aspect of making this record was that it was Justin and me, just bass and drums for all of the initial tracking.  Most people don’t realize it, but this is very much a “drum and bass” project.  I wrote all the songs on bass guitar and most of the lead parts are a bass guitar.  I really wanted the record to only consist of drums, bass, and vocals, but as the record developed, I felt that the songs needed a little more to make them shine.

At what point, during writing, rehearsing, recording, did you knew you were on to something special? 

I remember clearly when we were tracking “Hot And Sweaty” and I motioned for a breakdown / solo….we did it and it just worked so well.  I remember looking at him and thinking that we may be onto a project that was more than just “for fun”.

Also, listeners should listen out for the end of “She’s So Hot”- that is Justin and I laughing at the end of the song after tracking it live – including that ridiculous drum solo he plays!

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixtape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?  

Every mixtape I have ever made starts with “Love Fool” by the Cardigans.  I would start there and see what happens.

Do you feel part of a community, the power pop community?  

We are still so new, that every day we get contacted by Power Pop fans who enjoy what we have come up with, and I never could have imagined such a warm reception by a genre of music.  I really look forward to getting to know more fans and artists/bands.

If you could tour the world with 2 other bands, who would you ask to join?  

This is easy.  The Killers and Tom Petty (RIP).

If the budget was unlimited, how would you record the next record?  

Honestly, we wouldn’t do much different.  We’d still record the record in my garage, only I would hire an engineer to aid in the recording process.  During the recording of “She’s So Hot”, I was playing, singing, engineering and producing.  This next time around Id love to focus on the performance side of it and let someone else worry about sounds/levels/compression/EQ/etc.

What’s up for 2018?  

I’m really hoping to start another record in the Fall and release by 2019.  I have most of the new songs written, and I’m ready to get back in the studio.

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Introducing … THE EGO RITUAL

“It has a sound like it was conceived in the late 60’s, given some 70’s guitar and some 90’s swagger and then let loose now!”. That’s how Wayne Lundqvist Ford, the Ice Cream man, describes the music of The Ego Ritual, B-Leaguers’ Jim Strying’s new band.

Let’s ask Jim what is going on.

1. The Ego Ritual, new band, new sound?

Yeah, new band and I guess a new sound, but the big melodies are still there! Everyone is going to bring their own influences to the band’s sound, though we don’t really write to any set of rules, or have a blueprint, we just go wherever it takes us. And it’s taken us to some far out places…

2. You are working on your debut, an ep. What’s there to expect?

Yes, we’re currently in the studio working on the songs that will become our debut, 4 track EP. We thought about doing a full album, but decided to test the water first. If people react well to the EP, we’ll look at doing a full length record. What’s to expect? The unexpected! Big guitars, big drums, big melodies!  A healthy dose of psychedelia! Stay tuned…

3. How did this band come together?

The stars aligned! William James Ward, our guitarist, I hadn’t seen for many years. One day he turns up at my door with a guitar and says, ‘let’s write some songs’ So that’s exactly what we did! Gaz Wilde, our drummer, I had known through other projects, as he owns the studio we record at. He’s a great drummer and an excellent sound engineer and producer. Things just fell into place, we’ve been lucky.

4. Any goals set? Ambitions shared between all members?

Well, at the moment we’re all focussed on getting the EP finished. It’s coming together and sounding great. We’re just taking it one step at a time. As I mentioned, if people like it, we’ll look at doing an album. We’re not setting ourselves unrealistic targets, things will happen if they’re going to happen.

5. When will the ep hit the stores/hit the digital platforms ?

We’re planning to release the EP late summer, probably with a song released a few weeks earlier (with accompanying video)

It’ll be available on both CD and download versions, from our bandcamp. You can keep up to date with all info at our facebook page.