I'm sure we've done this before but seemed appropriate in light of the overrated thread.
Also, it's more positive and more likely to yield new avenues of listening.
I'll start the ball rolling with Ballboy. Thanks to JLS for that one.
> Are they still going? They're a firm fave of mine from the early 00's John Peel days.
Don't think so. I get the impression Gordon still performs but on his own. He was a primary teacher I think.
I'd put in a shout for Spiritualized. Jason Pierce just keeps on exploring and doing new things, while managing to keep a distinct Spiritualized sound. Over the years I've come to love them more and more. I'm really looking forward to the new album.
Jon Connor, rapper from Michigan who has only really released one album. Got signed to Aftermath spent the best part of a decade on the label without releasing anything at all. Now trying to resurrect his career but doesn't look like it's ever going to take off the way he was tipped to. Widely acclaimed as one of the best rappers out there when he first hit the scene.
Little Simz - she's getting pretty big, but her last album was widely hailed as being one of the best releases of last year by critics on both sides of the pond, yet she could probably still walk down Oxford Street with barely anybody paying her a second glance. I've no idea why she isn't a bigger star.
Have always thought The Men They Couldn't Hang should have been as big as the Pogues were
They were unlucky in the late 80s when their single The Colours was heading up the charts but got removed from playlists because of the lyric "You've come here to watch me hang" which unfortunately coincided with the Sharpeville Six
The song was about an English mutineer sailor and nothing to do with South Africa
Waiting for Bonaparte is a great album
I'd nominate Spirogyra (the Canterbury based folk-rock band, not the American band of the same name), although singer Barbara Gaskin did later have a hit with a cover of 'It's my party, I'll cry if I want to'.
> I'd put in a shout for Spiritualized. Jason Pierce just keeps on exploring and doing new things, while managing to keep a distinct Spiritualized sound. Over the years I've come to love them more and more. I'm really looking forward to the new album.
Have to agree with that. Also Spaceman 3 before them.
It occurred to me some time ago, that most Spiritualized songs are either about drugs, love or Jesus. Or some combination like 'Jesus, I love drugs'.
As ravers get older, Aphex Twin has started appearing on Radio 3. More for Avril 14, than Window Licker, but give it time...
Leo Moracchioli - a Hard rock/ death metal multi-instrumentalist from Norway. He does some absolutely fantastic covers on youtube. The wheels on the bus is sublime and his piss-take of Dave Grohl's cover of 'Jet' is a brilliant observation. Great stuff if you like heavy metal. Probably not worth your time if you're more of a Kate Rusby fan.
Half Man Half Biscuit - although what they lack in numbers of fans, the fans make up for in cultish enthusiasm.
Many think they disbanded in the late 80s and that was that: in fact they reformed in 1991 and have - almost uniquely, if you go by other bands - improved with age. They have a few songs referencing UK fells and hills, and climbing, but more importantly the sharpest, funniest, most complex & interesting lyrics around on any subject, c/o Nigel Blackwell.
The only band I've travelled half way across the country to see, on several occasions and always worth it.
Some Americana singer-songwriters who are not so much under-regarded as not very well known.
David Olney. Died on stage in Florida in January, 2020. Stopped in the middle of a song, apologised and shut his eyes. Wrote very original story songs such as “Jerusalem Tomorrow.”
Joe Ely. Wrote best equal song about New Years Eve. Tom Waits wrote the other one.
Terry Allen. “Lubbock on Everything” is a great Americana album.
Robert Earl Keen. “It’s the Little Things” will strike a chord with anyone married for more than a few years.
Tom Russell. Touch of the Johnny Cash about his voice.
Guy Clark. Townes Van Zandt’s best friend. Apparently Townes and his wife Suzanne were openly lovers. When Townes died in 1997 Suzanne stayed in bed until her death in 2012. Guy died in 2016. Steve Earle recorded an album of his songs.
> Guy Clark. Townes Van Zandt’s best friend. Apparently Townes and his wife Suzanne were openly lovers.
I remember hearing GC telling a story about how Townes had the hots for his wife but she wasn't into him and kept knocking him back.
Have you seen Heartworn Highways and Be here to love Me?
> Have you seen Heartworn Highways and Be here to love Me?
> I remember hearing GC telling a story about how Townes had the hots for his wife but she wasn't into him and kept knocking him back.
I've seen Heartworn Highways but not Be here to love me. I'll investigate. There is a newish film about Guy Clark called Without Getting Killed or Caught. Haven't seen it as it is expensive to stream. Saw a documentary about this new film. This is where I found out the information [which from what you say may not be true] about Suzanne Clark and Townes. Must admit I found it hard to believe that Guy and Townes could stay pals if this is true.
Once saw Guy and Townes performing together, doing alternate songs. Great!
Suzanne Clark is in the audience for the Austin City Limits star-filled tribute concert to Townes, which I very recently watched on YouTube - so I guess she must have got up to stretch her legs from time to time!
>Half Man Half Biscuit
Yes! Meaning, I like them. But how could anyone underrate a band with a song called Knobheads on Quiz Shows?
What possessed you to apply?
Did your friends with good advice implode?
Another shout for The Chameleons - the first 3 albums (Script of the Bridge, What Does Anything Mean Basically, and Strange Times) are superb, possibly my favourite band ever.
Would also like to add The The, what a run of albums Soul Mining, Infected, Mind Bomb, Dusk.
> Fair enough. I was wrong. But the information I quoted came from a documentary about the recent film about Guy Clark. If I can find a link I'll post it.
This isn't a link to the documentary but repeats what I read.
It is an interview with the director of "Without getting killed or caught." The film was based on the diaries of Susanna [not Suzanne - sorry] Clark. In the article the Guardian interviewer says "When Townes died at 52 in 1997 Susanna took to bed and never left it." The director says,"Because she was in bed for 15 years people in Nashville wrote her off as crazy."
If I was wrong its because I took the information from what I thought was a reliable source. Just away to put on my hair shirt as a penance.
> Hüsker Dü
> No vaguely alternative rock would exist without them. Noise, melody and heartbreakingly personal lyrics about love and loss and the human condition in perfect equilibrium
You could say that Bob Mould's whole career has been under-rated. Sugar made glorious music but never received the acclaim they deserved, and that's even more the case with his solo work. Copper Blue should be on any list of the greatest albums ever made.
Yes I read the same article, so I was quite surprised to see her in the audience! The concert is well worth checking out if you're a Townes fan. The performers include Guy Clark himself, Emmylou, Townes's son, Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson and Steve Earle, plus others.
Olafur Arnalds is worth a listen very chilled piano stuff in the vein of Nils Frahm and Erland Cooper. They are both worth checking out too if you have not heard them.
I love listening to the above when walking in the woods. Some how suits that space.
> Have to agree with that. Also Spaceman 3 before them.
> It occurred to me some time ago, that most Spiritualized songs are either about drugs, love or Jesus. Or some combination like 'Jesus, I love drugs'.
> As ravers get older, Aphex Twin has started appearing on Radio 3. More for Avril 14, than Window Licker, but give it time...
I started listening more to music again recently, after a long podcast orientated hiatus, and got a Spotify account. Every night without fail, the algorithm choses Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space, for which I am truly grateful. The other continual features are GSY!BE's Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada and East Hastings from F#A#oo.
> I'd put in a shout for Spiritualized. Jason Pierce just keeps on exploring and doing new
Although they could just as easily have ended up here along with Spacemen3?
Another best band in the world, but I don't think they qualify as being underrated.
In a similar genre, a personal favourite is Bitch Magnet who got a lot of late 80s Peel time but never became well known but imho are as good as many of their better known peers like Big Black, Husker Du, etc.
Also, the Melvins, Rocket from the Tombs (not crypt), Destroy all Monsters, Don Caballero and Polvo never quite got the recognition either for the quality of their music or influence I think they merited.
King Creosote. Although I think he is pretty critically acclaimed, just not as well known as he should be. From Scotland with Love is an excellent album. I knew about him but didn't really listen to his music then I found the video below when searching for case study material to teach urban renewal. The combination of Raymond Depardon's powerful images and KC's haunting music brings a tear to my eye to the extent that I need to be careful when I show it to pupils. It never fails to affect them too.
I was really lucky to see Rory Gallagher live on loads of occasions in the ‘70s, and one of the best live acts I’ve ever seen. Stratocaster, cable, Vox AC30 with a treble boost. He told Brian May what to buy as his first amp (AC30) which became his signature sound. Hendrix acknowledged him as the worlds greatest. He was SRV before there was an SRV.
Going to a school where most were second generation Irish immigrants, I assumed that the whole world worshipped at the Altar of Rory, and his previous band Taste.
Always loved Rory, revered rather than underrated though! Saw Taste in 1970 at the Marquee club. After they split Rory would play in our local pub to about 30 people, then a week later at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Have been to the tribute festival at Ballyshannon a couple of times, memorable weekends.
Rory was a big influence on my electric guitar playing and was underrated as a guitarist I think - he seldom gets the rank he merits in polls of guitar players.
Got to go back stage and meet him when Taste played at my university: carried pints of guiness on stage for the band - how cliched is that- before sitting at the edge of the stage watching the maestro from closeup.
PS Three years ago I was in the climbers cafe in Leonidio when- through a slightly drunken haze- I heard my name being called to go on stage ( it was an open night and unknown to me a mate had put my name forward) and I was handed a Stratocaster. Jammed three songs with the resident band. At the end of their session the leader of the band came over and discussed Rory’s influence on my guitar style - how chuffed was I that he recognised the influence!
I wouldn't call Rory under-rated though. It may be a bit of Irish folklore but it's said that when Hendrix was asked in an interview "What's it like to be the world's greatest guitar player?" he replied "I don't know . Go and ask Rory Gallagher."
Brian May definitely acknowledges him as an influence and I saw Slash in interview describe him as "pretty f*ckin' cool".
You could tell the Rory fans at uni from the dress code of check shirt and sneakers and I suspect that my reverence for him might have had an influence in one of my climbing partners who later went on to name a first ascent on Lundy as "Messin' With The Kid".
> I wouldn't call Rory under-rated though. It may be a bit of Irish folklore but it's said that when Hendrix was asked in an interview "What's it like to be the world's greatest guitar player?" he replied "I don't know . Go and ask Rory Gallagher."
Exactly the same story but with the names changed is told about Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. I fear they both may need to be filed with: Is Ringo the best drummer in the world?/He's not even the best drummer in the Beatles.
ETA: Rory headlined the first night of the first festival I ever attended, pretty much 50 years ago. Messin' with the kid was one of many highlights. I'm off to Lundy again in September so I'll go and have a look at the route. From the guidebook, it looks like I'd better pack a trowel!
Budgie- up there with Sabbath and Zep: youtube.com/watch?v=54H3EUAzpVg&
just found out that Burke Shelley has died recently;(
I knew someone would post New Model Army, they are always my standard answer to this question too, though I'm not sure they're underrated so much as just not very big relative to the other bands who put in a similar amount of work.
Regardless, some brilliant albums and as you say, always superb live. I saw Justin Sullivan recently in Exeter and holy shit he can belt it out.
Good albums even post Robert Heaton too. Just been listening to Vengeance though, still stands up. Amazing.
> I wouldn't call Rory under-rated though.
I must confess to under-rating Rory for years. I got married in 1980 and my wife brought a vinyl copy of "Live in Europe" into our record collection. [She had seen Rory live in Glasgow in the late 1970s. He was late on stage and my wife and her pal missed the last train to Stirling and had to stay in a fleapit of a hotel overnight.] To my shame, I never once listened to "Live in Europe."
About 8 years ago my wife bought a Rory compilation CD "Big Guns" for our son who was in his late teens at the time. Borrowed it to play in the car on a trip to Torridon and couldn't believe how good he was. Its not just his guitar playing that made him great. He wrote some wonderful songs which I can only describe as "different" such as "Flame to the Fire" and "A Million Miles Away."
Thanks for this thread, I'm guilty of starting the other one after Radio 6 played The Fall on time too many.
Some artists that may not be underrated, but underappreciated. Hopefully this can help someone find some cool new tunes.
Burial: Untrue is an absolutely seminal album that everyone should listen to at least once a week.
Kiasmos: Stunning Icelandic electronica
Portico Quartet: Jazz? Monument is one of the best albums on 2021
Nils Petter Molvaer: Straddeling the line between jazz and electronica. Khmer saved me from the post-grunge guitarr rock swamp.
Hum: First two albums are some of the best things to come out said swamp.
Rival Consoles: Experimental dance electronica
Craven Faults: Dark, ambient visions from Yorkshire
Kelly Lee Owens: Quirky bangers
Ghazal: And now for something completely different... Iranian/Indian fusion. Probably unlike anything you've heard. Close your eyes and let go.
I’m a bit schizophrenic with the influences on my playing. Certainly Rory’s minimalism with the AC and a treble boost. However, there’s also Tony Iommi, so I’ve got the whole Orange/Laney Rig of Doom thing going on. And Pat Metheny on my jazz box. Go figure!
You love playing and listening to guitar; it gets to many of us!
In my formative guitar years I styled my playing on Gallagher, Blackmore and Page and still love listening to their solos: the virtuosity and the energy of their playing; however I have also loved listening to classical guitar pieces ( although quickly discovered I wasn’t destined to be a classical guitarist!).
It’s just a fantastic instrument!
PS Will always remember as a seventeen year old hearing Tony Iommi playing the opening chords of the song Black Sabbath as the first song on their first UK tour - special!
I didn’t see Sabbath until around ‘73 at Birmingham Odeon, when they were touring Sabbath Bloody Sabbath which was my first ‘proper’ gig. Earlier, my mum wouldn’t let me go with my older brother to see The New Yardbirds who had just changed their name to Led Zeppelin. They were playing a little local club only a bus ride away. My brother knew some of the people running it and arranged safe passage but I never got to go😣
Seeing Ritchie with Purple and Rainbow was transformative, because he had everything in his playing, from blues to what would decades later become progressive metal. What a guy.
Great memories; although I hope you stopped speaking to your mum!
For me, seeing Deep Purple in a smallish venue before they released Black Night is one of my favourite musical memories; with Mandrake Root being the standout number on the night. I think Blackmore’s edgy, classically influenced guitar style made his playing ideal for Mark II’s version of hard rock. I still love listening to them - what a band they were.
> And also the gypsy guitarist Stochelo Rosenberg. I think Slash would consider him PFC as well.
Not heard of him, I'll check him out. We saw a German Gypsy guitarist called Joscko Stefan in the Edinburgh folk club c.10 years ago. He was mesmerising, he made no pretence at being anything other than a Django Rheinhardt tribute and finished with a Sweet Georgia Brown that made Eddie Van Halen sound slow and imprecise. Had a couple of beers and a good blether with him afterwards, a great guy.