Jsntgm 034 Higgins + The Magic of the Marketplace – Dream Consumer Dream 12” (clear yellow)

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by Higgins and The Magic of the Marketplace

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1. Emily Goes To Public School
2. Again And Again
3. Insane World
4. The Weather Changed … (an ode to Litterbug)
5. Remember Me
6. Don’t Be Shy of the DIY (Celebrity Is Dead)
7. We Are Not The Rolling Stones
8. Visiting The City
9. Lord Sugar Will See You Now
10. Movie Star
11. Sunshine Every Day


REVIEWS

JUST SOME PUNK SONGS – Feb 2019

Another new band to me today but Higgins And The Magic Of The Marketplace is the solo project of Litterbug bassist Andy Higgins. From Blackpool, he (with I think the aid of a drummer) recently released a debut album titled Dream Consumer Dream! It’s on Just Say No To Government Music on cd and yellow vinyl (ltd to 250 copies) and you can find it streaming here : higginsandthemagicofthemarketplace.bandcamp.com/album/dream-consumer-dream

It’s 11 tracks of punk influenced alt rock, it’s inventive and although they’re not The Rolling Stones, The Beatles or Ramones, they’re bloody good. If you’re looking for something a little different then this may be it.

 

Riot 77 Fanzine – Issue 21
HIGGINS AND THE MAGIC OF THE MARKETPLACE ……… “DREAM CONSUMER DREAM”. (J.S.N.T.G.M.)

Andy Higgins is a stalwart of the Punk Rock scene in the northwest of England. I first came into contact with his music through Erase Today – a band he fronted in the early 90’s. Just Say No To Government Music is his D.I.Y. label that he founded around the same time and he’s also the publisher of Blackpool Rox fanzine, so quite the active guy, to say the least. Higgins And The Magic Of The Marketplace is his latest musical course and it’s in the spirit of what I’ve come to expect from the man. Opener “Emily Goes To Public School” is indicative of The Skids “Of One Skin” and addresses the blight that is private education, or confusingly “public school” as its called in Britain. Many leaders who advocate for the dismantlement of the NHS and wider privatisation of services are graduates of this system and their mindset has far reaching consequences for all of us. There’s a theme running through this album of human beings vs’ the free market and what happens when the state intervenes less and less to offset the inequalities created by that market. The sleeve art is a wonderful collage, in the manner of Winston Smith and is replicated as an A3 poster inside the LP. Their Punk Rock is shaped around Leatherface and Husker Du with a more frenetic delivery, reminding listeners that the Punks are still angry after all these years.
Cian Hynes

Dead Good Poets Blog

My friend the illustrious Dr Higgins has some involvement in helping to make Rebellion happen, as well as being a musician of no mean punkiness himself. His latest album ‘Dream Consumer Dream!’ credited to Higgins And The Magic Of The Marketplace consists of eleven spiky musical polemics, some aimed sharply at the fat, complacent midriff of Tory Anglia, others casting a nostalgic eye back over times gone by, all of them fair comment on the Human Condition vintage 2018. The LP (pressed on 180g translucent yellow vinyl) comes with an A2 poster/lyric sheet and while the words sure ain’t poetry, that’s not what is important here. The sentiment and the sound are key and both of those are mighty fine, launching ‘Dream Consumer Dream!’ into my top ten albums of the year alongside the likes of The Coral, Decemberists, Sarah Gillespie, Alfa 9 and White Denim (illustrious company, to be sure). Andy Higgins plays all guitars (lead, rhythm, bass) and sings while Andy Flynn drums and Joanna Byrne provides backing vocals. It’s powerful, it’s punchy and it rocks with attitude. My favourite cuts are ‘Emily Goes To Public School’, ‘Remember Me’ and ‘Celebrity Is Dead’. All in all, an excellent recording deserving of an audience – get to hear it if you can. (Steve Rowland)

FUNGAL PUNK – June 2019
HIGGINS AND THE MAGIC OF THE MARKETPLACE – DREAM CONSUMER DREAM

Andy Higgins is a doofer, he has his hands in many pies and is a ruddy amiable chap – I like that! He is primarily part of that advancing 3-piece known as Litterbug, a very underestimated band that are on something of a rise and starting to turn a few good heads this way and that – I like that too. Here the man is dabbling again, I think for some there is no hope – what a wonderful situation that is! The band under the spotlight I know sweet FA about, I go in as cold as Pope John Paul’s left testicle and as eager as a fat kid in a pie shop. I will give what everyone expects – 100% effort, 100% honesty, 100% belief – if that ain’t enough then so be it – I am a mere dog chomping and trying, not one lying in a basket waiting for the master to create an easy life!
‘Emily Goes To Public School’ twinkles in, picks up on the general drive and pushes on with a strained vocal style that compliments the tight and orderly musical arrangement that gives very little away and always appears taut and played with a good thermal focus. The skins react to the rhythm with a spark of naturalness, the 2 sided wire work copulates with inseparable unity and as a result we get a solid opening track that simmers with frustration at those with silver spoons acting like goons and destroying the realms of the half-decent. I play the track several times over, get more drawn into the architecture of the song and further appreciate the general construction – tidy workmanship I reckons. ‘Again And Again’ takes to the throne of noise making, vocally struggles like a constipated crapper of cacophony before a release valve is moved, a repeat of the song title had and laxative induced lilts come. The song is simply curled down, is laden with nutritious weight, stinks better when oral poison is spat. This snippet is short, placed in this second position does it no harm – it gets one replaying, discovering and enjoying the impetus of the CD thus far. ‘Insane World’ is a perfect follow up, gently alters tack, gives an emotive enhancement and works with a severe sweat on the brow. All areas are pushed, pressurised and yet given room to breathe. With such intensity the players do well to keep all areas clear, functioning as one and contributing to a very convincing piece of zoned in music of delicacy and latent power. I think this one completes a firm and variety riddled opening hat-trick – I play over and over just for good measure!
‘The Weather Changed (An Ode To Litterbug)’ begins with some inane Monk-ish choir spouting an oral illness that throws me off at a dangerous angle (Stanley Unwin – can you help in any way). The song proper eventually kicks in, has a biting verse, a mild chorus, all the while scaffolded by some hot-roasted guitar work and up-tempo stick work. The impetus here is the winning factor, the song is well-blown and kept on its toes by musicians looking to uphold a set standard – it just scrapes by. ‘Remember Me’, is an emboldened number with some marvellous accents and a double headed he/she delivery that really encapsulates the insights and creative juices the players are using. The opening synthed spices set the jowls salivating, the dish proffered does not disappoint. What a complete and invigorating number this is, and taking us into the sharp and snatching ‘Celebrity Is Dead’ with the standard still very high. This one stutterguns, nails a few facts for you to mull over and slowly rises to a gratifying boil with a handclap of delight that the A-list shits and the like, are indeed dead (if only). Too many at the top and bottom of the heap make Gods and this creates this situation called ‘celebrity’ – it is a realm built on ego, weakness and need – and baffles my fuckin’ bonse. This is the most venomous song thus far, really pierces the epidermal layer and injects home its pertinent point – lovely!
We head down the highly anticipated homestretch with the guiding hand of ‘We Are Not The Rolling Stones’, this is a restrained song and the main gratification I get from the rhythmic gift is when the band let themselves go via a bittersweet chorus that reminds you of the stance, the position, the way in which this music is created. I do struggle to get fully upbeat about this one although it is a quite steady track. I feel just a few extra embellishments are needed and a bit more juice in the mixing desk. As per – tis a personal viewpoint but for me, there are better offerings on this fine CD. ‘Visiting The City’ grinds matters out and after the opening hollers and exposure of inner pride this creation travels on well-perked heels and with chest swollen, duly gets on with matters. The swish of the sonic sabre cuts the attentive flesh, forces a bleeding response of sanguine acceptance and as we nod along it is safe to say the band are in a sound comfort zone here, not taking any risks and doing things of a solid and reliable standard. Not the best song on the CD, not the worst, one of those moments where one just thinks ‘yeah, safe man, safe’ – tis no bad thing!
‘Lord Sugar Will See You Now’ begins with a soundbite, jumps in and then indulges in a Rainbow-esque eruption that perhaps is a moment of inspiration or a sign of aging heads getting generic values confused. It is a nice moment and kick-starts a more than adequate song that makes one consider why we should wait ‘on the man’ and not get up and just keep on doing it ourselves. The movement here is once again, well-muscled and fluent, the switch to the mid-muso break is liquid, the blend of all components highly meritorious, the more I rotate this one, the more effect it has – the A OK sign is sincere! ‘Movie Star’ rolls in, pulses, softens the impending blow with some soothing ghostly whoo’s before the chug comes, a first verse and a sub-chorus take the reins and we are left in the midst of a very reliable song. The undulation of the emotive touch is spot on, the effort in the chorus equally so and this for me is a strong penultimate piece that gets better and better with every play – a subtle grower for sure. We close this intriguing collection with ‘Sunshine Every Day’, a marvellous uplifting spurt of defiance that travels hard, travels true and finishes the CD on a very assured and measured note laden with good music-making talent. The 4 count, the focused and pushing verse, the blatant refusal to buckle and the thermal sanguinity that blesses the bonses of the confident all win my favour. This is a sinewy showing, a solid punctuation mark on a CD that has met the expectations and given some nice surprises.
That is that, Mr Higgins is a gent, a talented man and a thinker – it ain’t no bad way to be and here these qualities pay fine dividends. For me, this CD needs seeking out by all and sundry as it breaks away from the regular punk strain, brings an earnest quality to the stage and all I need do now is book these buggers for a ‘live’ show – Mr Higgins – nudge bloody nudge sir and well done to all involved. Fungal Punk (Dave Higginson Tranter)

Scannerzine – Steve Scanner
November 2019 – https://www.scannerzine.com/topsoundsh2018.htm
Consumer Dream! {JSNTGM}

Now this is a fantastic looking release. You get full colour artwork, a fold out poster with lyrics and images that link back to each song title, a CD and it’s pressed on 12”s of yellow vinyl. I already want to like it! This is the latest project from Andy Higgins – owner of JSNTGM and member of ERASE TODAY and LITTERBUG to name but two – and bar the drumming and some backing vocals, he’s done it all. You get 11 topical songs which pivot around consumerism and celebrity and feature in equal parts Andy’s barbed humour and cutting opinions. Plenty of highlights be it the SLF-esque opener ‘Emily Goes To Public School, the raucous closer ‘Sunshine Every Day’, both ‘We Are Not The Rolling Stones’ and ‘Insane World’ that brought to mind LEATHERFACE while best track is a battle between ‘Remember Me’ (that I could easily hear BLYTH POWER doing) and the sarcastic KENNEDYS-isms of ‘Celebrity Is Dead’. Rather than bellowing, the vocal is a bit understated, sung with clarity and all the better for it. Interesting and thought-provoking stuff and again, a great package as a whole. (14.11.19).

Format

Compact Disc, Vinyl LP, Digital Album

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