Dance Floor Killer ‘STEP ON’ By HAPPY MONDAYS Turned 30 In 2020

Top singles from the past…

31 December 2020

Of all classic crackers that celebrated a birthday this year, and were featured here,
Turn The Volume picked STEP ON by HAPPY MONDAYS, released 30 years ago
this year, as the cracking cracker of all 2020 crackers.

Why? This is the dance floor killer I moved to in mysterious ways
for years now and will do so tonight (New Year’s Eve).

It was actually a reworked version of 1971 hit He’s Gonna Step On You Again by
South-Africa born, Greek singer and songwriter John Kongos (listen/watch below)

Released: April 1990 – 30 years ago
Producer: Sound wizard Paul Oakenfold
Score: No 5 in the UK
Album: Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches
Third LP, released 5 November 1990

Shaun Ryder about the track: “It was fluke. We thought, this is the last thing we need! They sent over a tape with lots of songs from the back catalogue of Elektra. So we stuck the tape on and Step On was either first or second on the tape. We said, right – that’ll do!”

OFFICIAL VIDEO

TOP OF THE POPS performance
(great moment: 3-minute mark when
Rowetta‘s voice fills the studio)

ORIGINAL

HAPPY MONDAYS: Facebook

How Was 2020 For Heart And Soul Voice ROWETTA?

14 December 2020

Despite the freedom-curtailing corona pandemic, supreme Manchester-born soul voice ROWETTA had a very busy year. The wonderful lady – best known as long-term member of legendary 24-hour party people gang Happy Mondays – did what she does for years now, working with a variety of great artists. Actually not that easy in these strange times, taking into account the security regulations imposed by the virus crisis.

Rowetta‘s most recent project is one, again, for charity. She teamed up with celebrated Liverpool DJ Yousef for a vintage house jam, titled When We Were Free. A reminder of the difficult period we all facing right now, but also an ode to the good times we’ve had, and to the feelings of appreciation for when life returns to what it was before. Again Rowetta, also an active feminist, shows her always positively and sincerely beating heart
is in the right place. Respect!

So, before starting the chat about the past twelve months let’s play that disco stomper with all proceeds of the song going to Ronald McDonald House Charities in Liverpool.

Stream and buy here…


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Hello Rowetta, so cool
to have you back…

Despite the surreal situation we live in, you were involved in several
musical projects this year. Tell us more about them, Rowetta

“I’ve collaborated with some amazing producers/ dis and musicians including – Oliver Heldens, Yousef, Solardo, Enzo Siragusa, Todd Terry, Alexander Technique, Jay Potter, The Amorphous Androgynous ft Paul Weller, K&K, Jodie Harsh, The White Island Orchestra, DJ
Dove, Nhan Solo, Jacob Colon, Brown Sneakers, A Man Without A Clue
and many more.

This has been the best thing about the situation as an artist writing and recording.
Usually, everyone would be busy touring all year, myself included. This year everyone is grounded so it’s been a great opportunity to be more creative in the studio and to reach out to the people you want to work with. Luckily many have reached out to me in the last few months and I’m really proud of all the new tracks and can’t wait for them all to be released.”

How does it feel to see that Kamala Harris is the
first female and black vice-president in the USA?

“It’s incredible. I am ambassador of the Pankhurst Trust, home of the Suffragetta movement. The Pankhursts fought 100 years ago, giving some women the right to
vote for the first time. Black women could only vote 55 years ago, so this is beautiful
and a great message for young girls of all colours.”


The Pankhursts – historic heroines

A lot of artists used/use social media frequently as a sort of safe stage
to share and perform music. Did you do something similar too, Rowetta?

“I took part in a couple streams for charities, but it was hard for me as one of my
dogs was very ill during lockdown, and he passed away in June, so I couldn’t take
part in many as he was with me 24/7 until the end. I am doing a couple in the next
few weeks. One is for the charity ‘Mind’ which helps with mental health, which is
even more important now than ever.”

What video clip impressed your eyes most in the past 12 months?

“I loved the ‘Rave Machine’ video that Toolroom made for the track I did with
Oliver Heldens. Loved the graphics and colours and the tune of course.”

Your hero-ine of the year?

Marcus Rashford is without doubt the biggest hero. He’s from Manchester and plays
for my team, Manchester United, but what he has done for children in the UK has been outstanding. He took on the government, stood up for all the children, making sure that none would go without food during this pandemic. Now children that need help, won’t go hungry this winter, because he never gave up. He’s a real superstar on and off the pitch and the greatest role model.”

What made you laugh crazily and made you cry your eyes out in 2020, Rowetta?

“I always have the best laughs with my best mate Bez, from our band, Happy Mondays.
We laugh all the time. I haven’t been able to see him as much, but we talk on the phone
a lot, and he’s just discovered FaceTime.

Losing my dog, Floyd has been the saddest thing to happen to me this year after 14 beautiful years together, but there has been so much sadness and loss this year.”

Which song would you pick to play out loud on 31 December,
when the clock strikes midnight?

‘When We Were Free’ Yousef & myself.

We’re donating the income from all sales and streams to families in need.

What present(s) will you buy for your two cute dogs?
“They get presents all the time, but definitely new coats and loads of toys
as one is a puppy who loves to play.”

Three things you really want to see happen in 2021?

“Live gigs and festivals back. Ibiza back and me on a stage there and I hope Happy
Mondays
play Glastonbury. Last year was to be the 50th Anniversary and I was due to
play with the band, which would have been my 4th time perfuming there, so praying
it’s back on and that I’d love to perform there with some of my other collaborators
like Solardo and Yousef.

Playing the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury in 2000 with David Bowie watching
from the side is one of the best feelings I’ve ever had on a stage. So special.”

Thank you so much for this Q & A, Rowetta.
Have a fabulous Xmas and a back-to-life-music 2021…

As usual, Turn Up The Volume starts and ends an interview with music.

I played this incredibly terrific cover of Joy Division‘s monumental song Atmosphere
by former bassist Peter Hook and his band The Light with the 24-carat gold voice of Rowetta in the middle, countless times and will play it countless times in the future.

Just breathtaking

ROWETTA: FacebookTwitter

Liverpool And Manchester Unite For Charity – Here’s YOUSEF And ROWETTA

11 December 2020

Titanic Manchester soul voice ROWETTA (Happy Mondays) and celebrated Liverpool
DJ YOUSEF join forces for charity. They reflect on these strange times with a vintage
house jam titled WHEN WE WERE FREE.

A statement about the song’s theme reads: “With the restrictions the world is currently
having to live with, the track’s lyrics and feeling are a timely reminder of the difficult period
all our lives are facing right now, and very much an ode to the good times we’ve had, and to
the feelings of appreciation, we hope for when life returns to what was.”

These are hard times for the whole wide world. Our freedom and mobility is severely curtailed. Hopefully, a once in a lifetime experience. We need to unite to turn the tide, there’s no other way. And why not while dancing in our safe living room. Music is a
healing force. Let’s move to the beat and look forward with faith.

All proceeds of the song go to Ronald McDonald House Charities in Liverpool.

Stream/buy here…


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ROWETTA: Facebook / YOUSEF: Facebook / Label: Circus Recordings


Titanic soul voice…

Hit Single ‘KINKY AFRO’ By Madchester Legends HAPPY MONDAYS Came Out 30 Years Ago Today

Top singles from the past…

8 October 2020

Band: Happy Mondays feat. glowing soul voice Rowetta
Active: 1980–1993, 1999–2001, 2004–2010, 2012–present
Single: Kinky Afro
B-side: Kinky Afro Live

Released: 8 October 1990 – 30 (!) years ago today
Score: A massive hit in America, reaching No 1 on
the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks Chart and #5 in
home country England

Album: Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches – third LP

Yippee-ippee-ey-ey-ay-yey-yey
I had to crucify some brother today
And I don’t dig what you gotta say
So come on and say it
Come on and tell me twice

C’mon, Shaun

HAPPY MONDAYS: Facebook – Discography

Simply The Best – TURN UP THE VOLUME’s Knockout Tracks For JULY 2020…

This past month’s best…

Fifteen Knockout Tracks hitting Turn Up The Volume‘s speakers this past month!
A steamy melting pot of isolation corkers and lockdown cuts. Don’t worry, be happy!

– She Talks To Angels – BLACK NEEDLE NOISE Feat. ANJELA PICCARD (Norway)
A wall-of-industrial-symphony. Big tune, big sound, big vox, big performance. Stunning!
At least as good as the original by Southern Harmony rockers The Black Crowes.

– Incinerate – PHOSPHENE (Portland, Oregon, US)
Twinkling guitars, pulsating drums, radiant melodiousness, and bright vocals bringing Cocteau Twins‘ wonderful singer Elisabeth Fraser. Glimmering shoegaze sparks. From
their excellent longplayer Lotus Eaters.


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– Hear Me Now – DJ DOVE and ROWETTA (UK)
#Selfishness is toxic #Change is desperately needed #LetUsDance is the message #DJDove is the techno wizard #Rowetta is the sky-high soul voice #Beach-party-tune #IbizaRules

– Born To Run – by RICH GIRLS (NYC)
For all those tramps who were born in the USA, go and dance in the dark before
you need to run for that sickly narcissistic American idiot. The Boss for president!


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– Rainbow Records – OCEANOGRAPHY (Oakland, California)
Glorious guitar pop humdinger getting your aural attention instantly with a repetitive
riff sticking as first-class glue. Inflammable passion, scintillating ardency, and vehement fervor. Affecting voice reminding me of Greg Dulli‘s imposing vocals at times.


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– Televised Mind – FONTAINES D.C. (Dublin, Ireland)
Rollicking Krautrock-like jam with charismatic frontman Grian Chatten‘s parlando
vocals rattling on and on and on. From the brand new top album A Hero’s Death.

– A Boat To Drawn In – METZ (Canada)
Halfway this storming steamroller turns into a trance-like juggernaut driven by
boisterous drum kicks and raucous guitars. Hypnotic and mind-boggling. It’s
Metz’s deafening sound of hope. New album ATLAS VENDING out 9 October.

– Down The Stairs – SHEHEHE (Athens, Georgia, US)
A blistering jackhammer doing your head in from the explosive get-go. A thunder and lighting corker that rages like a Formula One race car at a dangerous speed. Noise-tastic!

– My Faith Is Larger – SAVING JACKIE (San Antonio, Texas, US)
Move over RATM for this shattering, striking slam dunk with the merciless power
of a bone-crushing iron ball. A hot-tempered sucker-punch triggering every single
nerve, every single muscle, and every single vein in your shuddering body. Hell yeah!

– Unstoppable – MIESHA & THE SPANKS (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
A rumbling crackerjack rolling from the kick-off. A sickly sticky stunner to jump along, scream along and sweat along. Crackling guitars, hammering drum kicks and spicy vocals is what you get, hopping like a kangaroo on drugs is what you should do. Isolation firework to pump up your mood and body temperature. C’mon!


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– Hetty O’Hara Confidential – ELVIS COSTELLO (UK)
The great imperishable songsmith still knows how to surprise.
This sonic jim-dandy, a sort of beatbox banger says it all. Boom boom.

– Keep Your Eyes Peeled – by ULTRA SUNN (Brussels, Belgium)
Combine D.A.F.‘s industrial vibrations, Sisters Of Mercy‘s catchy gloom and doom hallucinations and Depeche Mode‘s pop-noir melodies, and what you get is a trip to
a tenebrous underground basement where Ultra Sunn‘s Sam Huge and Gaelle Souflet
are the DJ’s. Dance like it’s 1999 all over again.


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– Jackie – HYPERSPACE (Atlanta, Georgia, US)
Riff extravaganza / Electrical lobotomy / Gabba Gabba Hey /
High-voltage power pop / Alive and ticking / Punktastic!


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– A Hymn – IDLES (Bristol, UK)
A slow-moving ominous groove that feels like it will explode any second, but doesn’t. Like a fierce volcano about to spew lava but… doesn’t! The tension is almost unbearable. Another topnotch stroke! Idles keep on delivering soul-stirring thrills.

– You Are Just Not Alone – by BLACK MOON BOOK (Chicago, US)
A tender and romantic ballad with a Nils Lofgren-like, starry-eyed voice as the most important instrument in the middle. You can file this comforting reverie next to
Kurt Vile and The National. Relax, sit down, and enjoy…

All together on Spotify

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See/hear you next month, music junkies…

Shake Your Booty With DJ DOVE And ROWETTA – Here’s Techno Banger Of The Summer ‘HEAR ME NOW’

Daily fuel to load your sonic batteries…

23 July 2020

When New Jersey‘s techno wizard and producer DJ Dove and towering
soul voice ROWETTA team up expect some dizzy dazzling dance firework.

Booming stomper HEAR ME NOW is definitely affected by the Ibiza house music virus. Psychedelic colored like EDM junks Leftfield like it and trance-fueled like the beat freaks Chemical Brothers love it. Hey boy hey girl: dress sexy, move your furniture and fill your living room with tons of beach sand, fix yourself some Margaritas, and start your own
safe Ibiza rave. Disco Inferno, indeed!

#Selfishness is toxic
#Change is desperately needed
#LetUsDance is the message
#DJDove is the techno wizard
#Rowetta is the sky-high soul voice
#HearMeNow is this summer’s dance banger

Shake your booty right here, right no…

I knew you would come back for more.
Here’s the extended mix…

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DJ DOVE: Facebook
ROWETTA: Facebook

Great Artist, Great Voice and Great Human Being – Here’s The Wonderful ROWETTA..

4 April 2020

I’m sure many of you heard the brilliant soul voice of Rowetta without knowing her
name or who she’s actually is as she collaborated with so many artists that there’s a
great chance you have a record of them, with her gripping vox on it, in your collection.
She was born in Manchester and discovered her high-quality singing capability after winning a talent competition at the age of twelve.

For her countless fans Rowetta is best known for her work – on record and on stage –
with the infamous Madchester band Happy Mondays who she still tours with. I had
the opportunity to be impressed by her utterly cool stage presence and most of all
her tremendously impressive voice when playing with Shaun Ryder‘s gang in Belgium.
And something I already noticed before and now definitely again with this interview: Rowetta is a wonderful human being, a positive mind and an empathetic heart.
It’s a privilege to interview her. But first some music.

Here’s her brand new single, dance banger
‘The Game’ (Alexander Technique Remix),
a song by DJ Jay Potter & Rowetta…

Hello Rowetta,

What triggered you to become the artist you are. A childhood dream?
“It was never a dream of mine, as a child and I was ever encouraged to sing or
perform, but something magical happened when I was around 12 years old and
realised I had this unique, emotive and powerful voice. None of my family could sing,
so it came as a beautiful surprise and the more I sang, the better I got and as soon as
I got up on a stage and sang in front of an audience, I knew it was a gift and something very special to treasure.

Can you name some artists/bands you were involved with during your career?
“I have worked with many great people. I would miss out some if I tried to let them all. Here are some: Happy Mondays, Paul Oakenfold, Todd Terry, Frankie Knuckles, Simply Red, Inner City, Tom Stephan, Greco (NYC), Klangkuenstler, Third Party, Fun Loving Criminals, Danny Verde, Mobin Master, Rebel MC, Guru Josh, Steve Angello, Laidback
Luke, Swedish House Mafia, Gaz Cobain, Amorphous Androgynous, Paul Weller, Steve Cradock, Cornershop, Jay Potter, Alexander Technique, Steve Mac, Blossoms, Martin Badder, Winachi Tribe, Mike Pickering, Graeme Park, Peter Hook, Billy Ocean, Dave
Beer, Sub Sub, Ray Grooves, Delgado, Animist, Wade Teo, Steve Lawler.

Apologies for anyone I left out. I have been involved with a lot of brilliant musicians
and I am working with some amazing producers/ musicians now.”

With Happy Mondays, Top of The Pops – 1990

And which artists/bands you never worked with
would be on your dream list for the future?

“Nile Rodgers, Calvin Harris, Carl Cox, Roger Sanchez, and Marshall Jefferson would
be up there for sure and I would love to duet with Terry Hall of The Specials. I have
already approached him, and that may happen, which would be amazing.

I would love to have worked with Marvin Gaye, Frankie Knuckles,
Bowie and George Michael.”

Which are your three favourite songs you ever sang?
“Can’t answer this one, I love most of the songs I’ve sung and all the songs I’ve
written have special meaning so impossible to choose.”

Monumental…

Let’s go back in time. Were the early days with legends Happy Mondays
as wild and mad as printed in the press or just a myth?

“Probably madder. In this case, the truth is stranger than fiction. I will have to let people use their imaginations though. Some things are best kept between the band and those close.

I enjoyed the madness at the time though. Being the only girl on the tour bus, touring the world was such a great experience. The good times and the bad are all great memories to have now, looking back.”

What are your thoughts on Brexit?
“I wanted to remain, but the country voted to leave. I prefer not to talk too much about politics or religion though. I’m a musician and an entertainer.”

How do you spend your days now with these
surreal coronavirus times we live in?

“I am very lucky as I have a studio at home and access to so many amazing producers, so it’s a great time for new collaborations. A great time to be creative with lyrics and melodies. I am lucky that I enjoy the space and peace and quiet of home and I get to walk my dogs in the beautiful countryside.”

Any rituals before you go on stage for a concert, Rowetta?
“I just like to be on my own for an hour or so if possible, just to get ready and a quick drink of whiskey & Diet Pepsi. I don’t really warm up, as not always possible, but I like to stem my voice and hum a little, then a quick lie of ‘Kinky Afro’ (Happy Mondays song) and I’m good to go.”

Your favorite pet?
“I love my dogs like children. Have 2 children also, but they’re grown. I have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Papillon. They are older now, so they are loving lockdown and have me running around after them.”

Your top three albums in your collection?
“It’s too difficult to choose just 3. I’m going to pass on this one.”

Your favorite three movies of all time?
Again very difficult but these are 3 of my favourites:
The Shawshank Redemption
The Color Purple
Scarface

Which female vocalist(s) inspired you over the years?
“Too many to list.”

Social media: a blessing or a poison?
“I enjoy it interacting with people, especially about music and the fun
side of life, but I am able to switch off and know to block and delete whenever necessary.

I try not to get involved with the negative side and try to steer clear of sites that allow abusive behaviour or bullying.”

Your future plans?
“At the moment it is difficult to plan too far ahead. Most gigs have been postponed until later in the year or 2021, so I will be really busy when this is over and in the meantime, I am going to make a lot of new music. I’m using this time to work on new, beautiful music and my voice is loving all the early nights.”

Thank you very much for this interview!
May the toad rise with Rowetta.

One of Turn Up The Volume‘s favourite Rowetta moments. Breathtaking…

ROWETTA: Facebook

All Rowetta photos by Angie Wynne / received for promo interview via Rowetta

ROWETTA And PETER HOOK & THE LIGHT Send Shivers Down Your Spine With JOY DIVISION Cover

coverblack

Back in 2011 JOY DIVISION‘s original bass player PETER HOOK and his band THE LIGHT recorded a 4-track EP with covers of four Joy Division crackers, titled 1102 / 2011, with the wonderful Rowetta (who recorded and still tours a lot with Happy Mondays) on vocals on
3 of the 4 tracks. It contains a spine-tingling rendition of ATMOSPHERE. With ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart‘ one of the most gripping songs the Manchester legends ever wrote. Rowetta‘s vocal performance is just breathtaking and will send shivers down your spine.

Here’s the magic…

PETER HOOK & THE LIGHT: Facebook / ROWETTA: Facebook


1102 / 2011 EP available on iTunes

FUN LOVIN’ CRIMINALS Feat. ROWETTA Gonna Catch Up When It’s ‘DAYLIGHT’…

Daily fuel to load your sonic batteries…

FUN LOVIN CRIMINALS are back from being never away. On 18 January the funky New York hip-hoppers will release the follow-up to their 1999 compilation LP Mimosa.. Simply entitled ANOTHER MIMOSA the album “is a continuation of a long tradition of the FLC paying homage to those great songwriters that we stand on the shoulders of. From our love of hip-hop, to soul to jazz and rock we humbly offer our fans another taste of our unique cocktail.” says frontman Huey Morgan.

Ahead of the LP’s launch comes smooth taster DAYLIGHT. It’s FLC’s interpretation of the 1975 hit by the late great soul voice Bobby Womack. A chill-out song about that feel good state of mind after a night out. The Criminals definitely knew why they called the wonderful Rowetta (long-time member of the mad Happy Mondays, besides countless collaborations with high-profile artists) to do the backing vocals. Her characterful bluesy Motown vox fits the mood of this crooning vibe perfectly. Now, sit back, relax, dim the lights and enjoy…

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FUN LOVIN’ CRIMINALS: Tour Dates – Website – Facebook – All Albums


ANOTHER MIMOSA – new album out 18 January 2019 – more info here