ALBUM REVIEW: From Seeds – Muddy Summers & the Dirty Field Whores by Laura Taylor


Muddy Summers and The Dirty Field Whores have been a moveable feast for some years now, but over the last two they’ve had a consistently all-female line up and, it has to be said, it is their best and most successful incarnation by far. Hailing from the Forest of Dean and Nottingham and fronted by the irrepressible Gail Something Else (she of the wonderfully anarchic Something Else festivals), this radical feistyfolkpunkpop band are in their prime, and their second album, From Seeds, is a refreshing slice of female perspective bursting at the seams with confidence and strength.

With irresistibly catchy rhythms and urgent poetry, sweet and mournful fiddle, haunting flute, impudent melodica, and a driving cajon, it’s a big two-fingered salute to patriarchy, monarchy, ‘normality’, arbitrary inequality and to every ‘ism’ and ‘ist’ you could care to list.

Fearlessly, the songs address issues such as abortion, breastfeeding (and rejection of the social stigma of), the worries and responsibilities of motherhood in these fraught and worrying times, the taint and disparity of capitalism, the endless misogyny that should surely have run its course by now, and the pisstaking price we pay as women who bleed.

You may find yourself swaying, laughing, nodding in recognition and despair, your hackles and goosebumps raised in solidarity. There’s every chance you’ll be singing along at the top of your voice to the more anthemic festival favourites.

From Seeds is sombre, provocative, and threatening. It is conciliatory, resigned, and then filled with fire and hope again. It stands as a musical blueprint for the difference between right and wrong, and how we can best get along without actually hurting anyone or making them feel somehow less.

This is an album for everyone, not ‘just’ women. It’s for brothers and sons, dads and nannas, mothers and sisters. And it’s for all of our daughters, too.

The album is available from

by Laura Taylor



Seeing Red (and Black) Album Review – Graham Parker, Macstock


‘To paraphrase Oasis, whatever you expect of this album – it’s not!

Seeing Red (& Black), the most recent pressed album to come from Muddy Summers and the Dirty Field Whores is an album full of surprises – and one you need in your musical collection.

The “grrrrl” band that started out as a collaboration project, features Gail Something-Else, Tez Roberts, Aimee Bee and Suzy Condrad on a variety of instruments including stick bass, baritone uke, melodica, guitar, and El Cajon. For this album, they are joined by Hellen Bach on flute and Mel Rogers from Tarantism on whistle.

If you were expecting an invitation to a tea party hosted by The Raincoats and Crass then think again! Although the girls are singing about all things social and political that matter to them, and some of the content is not for the faint-hearted or Daily Mail reader, this album does not feel the need to growl before it bites.

To set you a scene, imagine it’s the mid 1960’s, you are walking down the West Bank of the Seine and you pop into a smoky cafe for a coffee and brandy. The atmosphere is thick with political debate, in the far corner sit a group of bohemian looking women playing music.

Fronting this sound are the mellifluous tones of Gail’s vocals. There’ a hint of female crooner about them that is simple and charming, a sort of politicised Dusty Springfield; infuse a hybrid between that and Hazel O’Connor meets Lily Allen and you could be getting close.

The production of the album is ridiculously crisp and clean considering it was recorded in a cow shed – no, seriously, it was – for which Jeremy Paul Carroll deserves much applause. He has put The First Lady of Confrontation’s vocals centre stage, where they belong, and wrapped them up in the warm tones of the flute and melodica.

There are echoes of traditional folk running right through the album that is a melange drawing on left-bank swing, Balkan gypsy dance, jazz waltz fusion and cowgirl reggae-hop. From the opening lines of Seeing Red, which sets out the political position of the band quite clearly, the album continues in an almost dreamy landscape that covers broken relationships, failed political promises and the despising of monarchy and capitalists. Gail’s words come from the heart and her compositions are obviously influenced by the sounds she heard at home and in concert halls as a young woman – which is no bad thing if you appreciate intelligent musical construction.

As with all artists, you can tell which pieces mean the most to them. So when you have listened to and enjoyed the rousing tirades of Between Your Legs (So we’ll sing for our sisters, our daughters and our mothers), Landgrabber (landgrabber .. you don’t impress me. Power and greed equals inadequacy) and sung along to the anthemic eponymous Dirty Field Whore, take the time to sit down and listen in detail to the heart-wrenching joy that is Bag Full of Holes (Time doesn’t heal, it just offers you a deal. Nothing to lose, Just the risk of one more bruise) before settling in your chair and wallowing in the delight of When Goodbye Was Some Other Day, a song so beautifully sung that you could be forgiven for not wanting to suture the deep wounds whose blood fed the words being sung.’

Graham Parker, Macstock

Seeing Red (& black) is available from the online shop, iTunes etc. or listen online at Reverbnation.

A Celebration Of The Queens Birthday (Sort Of)

Review from The Sound of Summer of our new single/video that’s coming out at Midnight tonight!

The Sound Of Summer

Conventional wisdom dictates that we become more conservative as we age.  Let me tell you that is not the case for me or indeed for many of the amazing people I spend my summers with at the numerous music festivals I attend.

Admittedly many of those who inhabit the world I live in during the UK summer were probably sitting comfortably at the anarchistic end of the political spectrum to begin with. As I and many of my friends have come to realise the “system” is geared to make the rich richer and to support privilege and the class system.

Sitting right at the top of this rotten and corrupt system sits Queen Elizabeth and her bloodsucking inbred family.  Royalty is the epitome of the class system a system that rewards unearned privilege on the backs of the poor.  A system that benefits the 1% at the expense of the…

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Seeing Red (and Black!)


So we’ve finally become a band..and a girl band at that!

Aimee’s been regularly slapping her cajon with the DFWs for a fair old while now, and Tez has donned corsets and belted out backing vocals more than once, but she’s now also playing guitar. We’ve also been joined by the beautifully talented Helen on flute, and I’m plucking stick bass as well as singing and ranting into the mic.

As we all live in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, rehearsing is also possible, and is proving to be a stupid amount of the point where I take back everything I’ve ever said about being in bands. It’s also sounding alright.

I’ve been writing words like a loon since Zmas Day. I really need to thank the Queen for whacking her plunger on my writer’s block. I don’t do Christmas, so I was surfing the interweb in the afternoon and saw an article about ode Madge wearing a fur coat to their private service that morning. I thought (among other things)..

‘All fur coat and no knickers? Ewww. Pass the mindbleach, Lil!’ In my head, it quickly turned into ‘The Queen is all fur coat and incontinence knickers.’ Well, she is nearly 90. I’d say the odds were fair. I did get a bollocking off my 83 year old Mum for that line though.

I checked out her speech, got even more annoyed, wrote a poem called 3pm, stuck a tune to it, recorded it on webcam and fired it up onto good ode Facebook, figuring a few of my mates might be entertained by it..
Over 26,000 views later?!!

Ok, not everyone liked it. There were mutters about treason and how my entire family should be shot. I’m glad I only played it on a baritone uke an’ all, as it’s a lot smaller than the guitar that one bloke wanted to shove up my arse. Big up the satire police! Check it out if ye like..

Anyway, we’re recording a band version of it in early February (in the grounds of a manor house..ha!) and also a video here in the Forest on Sat 27th Feb. Come and be in it if you like. Then we’re going to release it just before the her 90th birthday.

We haven’t put a single out there since ‘Cameron, I Would Call You a Cunt’ in 2012. It got to #99 in the iTunes singer/songwriter charts, which means nowt, except it paid for the next album and chucked a few quid into some grassroots causes..and making the video was ridiculous fun! We’ll also be putting out a new album, ‘Seeing Red (and Black)’ in the Spring. Most of the songs are brand new, and the rest are ones that we’ve gigged acoustically, but they’ve only ever been recorded with electronic music.

Big up the Ladyfolk!

Gail xxx

‘Apathy’ Album Review/Interview – Muddy Summers and the DFWs – by Mark Goodman, Magpie Records

Apathy Album cover

APATHY By Muddy Summers and the Dirty Field Whores

Having been privileged to have been given a sneak preview of some of the songs for Gail’s new album, Apathy, I was really looking forward to hearing the finished product and I have to say I have not been disappointed.

Unlike the last Muddy Summers album, Monkey on my Back, which was very eclectic in nature, this latest offering is quite different. The cover probably gives away the sentiments contained in the albums lyrics, but does not give much of a clue to the musical delights contained within. Yes, the album is overtly political, but very much in the style of the best protest singers and poets down the years.

Musically, it is very much in the style of traditional folk and protest screams from the lyric sheet. That said there is also a feeling of underlying sadness that comes out in the delivery and Gail’s vocal while certainly driving home the message manages to sound vulnerable at the same time, in a way which is very endearing.

The opening track ‘To Land’ does not actually prepare you for what is to follow. It is in fact a reggae based acoustic number that has a very upbeat feel about it despite the lyric intimating that nothing much changes down the years. The whistled outro is a delight and just leaves you with a smile on your face.

As The Dragon Runs, takes the mood down a notch or two and opens with an almost ethereal whistle courtesy of Jay Terrestrial that sets the stage for a song that explores the destruction wreaked by the system and people burying their heads in the sand as the dragon runs leaving flames and cinders in its wake. Powerful, stuff indeed.

Tony Hopkins excellent guitar sets the tone for Empathy, a song that really does explore the true nature of empathy and it’s hard not to shed a tear when Gail sings about the old man who has lost his wife and Tony’s guitar evokes real sadness. One forms the impression that Gail bases a lot of her songs on personal experiences and the lyrics come straight from the heart and in very raw form. For me this just adds to the poignancy of the song.

Dai Blow’s Melodica makes a nice easy intro for Conspiraloon, and the whole delivery of this song is very laid back and pleasant with hints of cow bells and a lyric that does what it says on the tin. In fact you could make an argument for adding the word Conspiraloon to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Dai Blow features again on Cry of the Thwarted Bigot, this time with a jazz influenced clarinet hovering over Buzz Onion’s reggae based guitar riff while Gail vents her spleen on bigots and bigotry while encouraging people to stop misdirecting their anger. Again a very poignant song with some great echoes coming to the fore in the outro.

Next up is Ignition, performed by just Gail and the Inimitable Doozer McDooze playing the multi instrumental card on what is musically and lyrically a very, very good song featuring some fine keyboards and guitars and an almost desperate vocal delivery from Gail, that makes this a very powerful song indeed.

Dai Blow is back on melodica for Passive Aggressive a song featuring some clever lyrical delivery. The excellent Tony Hopkins returns on guitar for What do we tell our Children and Dai again is featured, this time on whistle, which again gives an almost ethereal feel to what is as much a story song as a song with a message for future generations. Everything from Stop and Search to fracking gets the treatment here.

Domestic Terrorist is grim stuff indeed. Starting with the all too familiar story of a man who feeds the fumes from his exhaust into his car because he can’t support his family and moving on to the recent story of those lads who were prosecuted for taking discarded food from a skip. This is a song that makes you sit up and think for sure.

Open eyes is another duet between Gail and Doozer that works well as always. Another folk song with a reggae influence that actually keeps the mood quite upbeat, Swimming to another beginning with these open eyes……..

The album closer is not a new song and has been around for a while in one form or another. In this guise it stands out as totally different musically from the rest of the album. It is in fact collaboration with Rev Dread that produces a kind of electro folk hybrid that actually works rather well. The song features one of Gail’s favourite words and no one escapes the treatment here, Cameron, Osborne, Smith, Gove, Hunt, May et al are all subject to Gail’s vitriol bringing the album to an appropriate finish

So in conclusion, Gail has written some very good and very potent songs here and delivered it all with some real top notch musicians. All in all an album that is musically very mature and highly listenable with a good production that still keeps the raw feel of the music alive. All delivered with lyrical potency of a Glasgee Kiss. Do yourself a big favour and get a copy of this fine album.

You can listen to and buy it here, or pay what you want for the download – BUY THE ALBUM

I also asked Gail a few questions about it…..

  • Gail, The title of the new album is ‘Apathy’ what was the thinking behind that? 

  • It’s really ‘Fuck Apathy’ but there are only so many releases you can have the fuckword in, right? Hence the artwork.

  • As with your previous work a number of the songs draw upon personal experiences, that seems to be the case with some of the songs here as well?

  • I can only write about what I see or feel. The words come out in rant form and in one hit, about whatever happens to be making my shit itch at the time. They get edited if they need to fit a tune a bit better, but other than that, they’re raw and from the gut. I guess that makes them all personal in a way.

  • You have used a number of different musicians on this album and yet you still seem to obtain a very cohesive sound across the whole album…

  • I am immensely lucky to have so many proper talented musicians up for working with me. I say what kind of feel I’m looking for, and maybe send words if they’re already written, and they just get it, even if it’s not their ‘thing’.

  • Your last album was very eclectic in nature whereas this album has a more traditional folk style feel about it, was that a conscious decision or did it just turn out that way?

  • It was very deliberate. I love the accidental diversity of the Monkey on my Back album, but I grew up as part of a big family feeding me so many musical influences which only really excluded folk and jazz. I sort of claimed folk as my own, and protest songs seem to sit best with it, I guess. Now I just need a beard to stroke.

  • The album is obviously very overtly political and that comes across in the lyrics, but there is also an underlying feeling that had a lot of fun making the album?

  • Ah, we always have fun. Everything is either recorded in my living room (often after a few ales) or music and vocal lines are exchanged via the wonders of the internet. It’s not massively produced and there’s no desire for perfection. Seems to be what works best for us.

  • Obviously you have at least three ‘Something Else’ events this plus the Tea Tent will be at the likes of Bearded Theory, is it your intent to showcase these songs at those festivals?

  • Definitely! Nowt wrong with a bit of self-indulgence, especially when surrounded by so much talent in a field!

  • Last Year you enjoyed success with Muddy Summers on the Cider and Sanity Tour. With everything else you have on your plate this year, is there a possibility of an Apathy Tour?

  • Yeah, though not til the Autumn/Winter. This is my most manic year to date!

  • The Album closer has appeared in many different guises over the years, but this one is in stark contrast to the rest of the album, was there a particular reason for doing it that way?

  • I like the last track on an album to have impact. Rev Dread has also been one of my more regular collaborators (we ended up doing a whole electro album together) so I wanted him on there somewhere. It’s still a folk song, just a more inyerface version.

  • History has thrown up many protest singers and bands over the years, From Woodie Guthrie to The Levellers. Clearly music cannot change the world but how important do you think it is to keep sending out that message?

  • I think any form of protest is vital, whether music based or otherwise, and I truly believe we’d be a lot more fucked than we are now without it. Listening to the likes of Guthrie, Billy Bragg and Bob Dylan when I was young played a huge part in politicising me. It’s also an amazing way to bring likeminded folks together which in turn helps shit get done, even if it does just come down to stopping the vile, acidic pissing down on us from above getting worse.

  • Finally, Gail what are your plans for Muddy Summers moving ahead into the future?

  • Well, it’d be nice to not have stuff to rant and sing about, but history and reality suggest that fighting this shit is infinite, so we might just step out of the collaboration ethic and form a proper band and rehearse and all that. But then again we might not.. x

Mark A Goodman

Magpie Music


‘Apathy’ – Muddy Summers & the Dirty Field Whores – Album Review – by Mal Content

Apathy Album cover

Apathy is the third album from Gail Something-Else and her motley crew of land pirates; the usual deal applies, you can buy the CD or download the tracks for pay-what-you-want. New collaborators on this one include Dai Blow and Buzz Onion of One Eyed God, Jay from Inner Terrestrials/Firepit Collective and Jonny ‘Wrongun’ Daniels from Pure Evil.

Apathy: a state of indifference, an inability to be arsed. We inhabit the disintegrating corpse of a dead civilisation, and sure enough a major preoccupation of our time is the myth of the undead, vampires and zombies. The metaphor is not lost on the conscious minority. Adult men and women while away their hours peering into a dystopian fantasy rather than looking out the window at the dystopian reality. Within the sleeve, richly decorated with Gail’s own graphics, the word is preceded by ‘fuck’ in brackets.

The album was launched with a self-organised party in a field at Gail’s beloved Forest of Dean, Gail’s Broken Ukulele was patched with a bit of wardrobe and an anti-fascist sticker. The cross-dressing Cajon player Techno Hippy was taken ill and a couple of the crew instantly stepped in on percussion. On the Sunday it began to rain and most of the punters drifted away, the crew, musicians and a few stragglers were instructed to ‘drink the bar’. The talented and totally outsane Dai gave a magnificent demonstration of how smashed a human being can be and still put a saxophone to good use – or a clarinet, melodica, whistle, and just about anything else you can blow into. Jay can virtually play guitar in his sleep, he can cook too. Duelling clarinets, gypsy jazz and songs of revolution drifted with the smoke across the wet fields, we did some fireworks that had literally fallen off the back of a lorry. You should get yourself along to one of these gatherings if you can. This music is born in improvisation around the campfire, lending it a timeless quality that defies categorisation as ancient or modern.

“Review the bloody record Mal”, ah, right; the Something-Else mothership comes in ‘To Land’ on an acoustic reggae number with Doozer Mc Dooze of Deferred success, jolly and positive, to blow away the cobwebs and drag you off your computer.

Two tracks from the first album recorded with the Reverend Phil Dread appear here in acoustic form. ‘As the dragon runs’ is a chillingly beautiful re-working of ‘Heroin’ from the electronic set, with instrumentation by Jay Terrestrial. The pipes conjure images of faraway places as the opiate dreams weave through the gritty kitchen-sink reality of sharing a life with one of the great apathisers. In the mid 1980s when the country stood on the brink of revolution it was suddenly flooded with cheap smack. Coincidence? Who knows, we won’t find out under the thirty-year rule; collateral damage included some of the children of the middle class and about a dozen of my old friends. There follows an acoustic version of ‘Empathy’ featuring superb guitar work from Tony Hopkins accompanying snapshots of the bleakness some people inhabit.

‘Conspiraloon’ recorded ‘live and drunk’ but lucid nevertheless, is the catchiest tune on the album, with Dai’s meandering melodica doubtless played stone cold sober. This is for the Guy Fawkes masked, tinfoil hat wearers who believe everything they see on the Internet, chasing phantoms while our rulers piss up our backs. Never mind the Molochs, here’s Howard, the talking porpoise from Atlantis. The new technology has its uses but remember you’re never more than five clicks away from David Icke.

‘The cry of the thwarted bigot’ with Buzz Onion is one for all those apoplectic Daily Mail readers left with nothing to show for their abject class collaboration but a vast chip on their shoulder. Blaming the boss would make them complicit so it must be someone else’s fault: Johnny Foreigner, the unions, gays, Muslims, the unemployed, single mothers, reds, long-haired layabouts and students, etc. UKIP presents a peculiarly English, snide, mealy-mouthed version of the rabid xenophobia that’s sweeping mainland Europe in response to the collapse of neoliberalism. Sort of de-caffeinated fascism, watch your blood pressure, dear.

‘Ignition’ is a political love song, but no compromise, played by Doozer. Waves of sound build up, crash down and wash away again, worth putting on the headphones for.

‘Passive-aggressive’ could be the ghost of an old fairground tune. A true story about one of those dreary people who place themselves at the centre of the universe and somehow manage to bring all activity to a grinding halt. Emotional blackmailers, they come in all sizes and genders.

‘What do we tell our children (about freedom)?’ Tony, Dai and Gail create a wistful sound from a bygone age and lament the increasingly restrictive and prescriptive direction of modernity.

‘Domestic Terrorist’ is one of the silly labels applied to the conscious minority who have escaped the bourgeois hegemony and decline to be pacified with toys and games; the sledgehammer has every reason to fear the nut. Gail plays ukulele and Dai clarinet.

“That the mass bleeds, that it is being robbed and exploited, I know as well as our vote-baiters. But I insist that not the handful of parasites, but the mass itself is responsible for this horrible state of affairs. It clings to its masters, loves the whip, and is the first to cry “Crucify!” the moment a protesting voice is raised against the sacredness of capitalistic authority or any other decayed institution. … Yes, authority, coercion, and dependence rest on the mass, but never freedom or the free unfoldment of the individual, never the birth of a free society.”

– Emma Goldman: ‘Minorities versus Majorities’ 1917.

‘Open eyes’, another cheerful Doozer reggae song celebrates being different, conscious and in the minority.

The disc concludes with an electro-punk version of ‘Cameron I would call you a cunt’, our campfire sing-along is given a harder edge by the Rev. P’s rhythmic bleeps and squelches. The rest of the cabinet also get a mention and are all found similarly wanting in the depth and charm department.

If you can shoot zombies you can shoot fascists, can’t you?

Mal Content 2014.