Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Marc Almond – A Kind Of Love

Ramping the camp and 60's kitsch up to at least 11 Marc Almond’s irrepressibly catchy new single and vid’s a teaser for a solo and Soft Cell ‘best of’ due out in May. Apparently he’s recently signed a major label record deal for the first time in 20 years too so it’ll be interesting to see what he and it (Universal) now do together. 

As regular readers will know Almond’s one of the few artists I’ve really stuck with since childhood and if you’re not familiar with his full (and boy is it full) back catalogue it’s well worth spending a month or two exploring, not just the hits but also the more obscure stuff from Russian romance songs via Heart on Snow through to a little light industrial madness with Clint Ruin on the Slut EP. Here’s a little taster of both: 

The Day Ends...Sunday Xpress themselves

Now that's how you end a set. NB: No instruments were harmed in the making of this video. Okay, there may have been but you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs eh?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Snooky Fest 2017

So what's that all about then eh? And who knew Darth Vader lived in Dawlish?! Well, supporting 18-40 year olds in Dawlish and Devon with any physical illness The Snooky Trust was set up following the death of the founder’s brother Chris Snook aged just 27. For almost a decade the charity ran a shop in Dawlish which closed down just before we moved here (quite possibly for the best given our addiction for...well...pretty much anything from charity shops) but they’ve just announced a brand new fundraising initiative (hence the vid), Snooky Fest, a family friendly festival that’s taking place at Warren Farm (halfway between Dawlish and Dawlish Warren) on Saturday July 15th from 11am to 11pm! Early bird tickets are a mere £13 right here right now and one of the first acts confirmed are Kier who, judging by this little number, are going to be ruddy marvellous. 

I’ll keep you up to date as new names are added but as they’re all local wouldn’t it be great if Metronomy, Muse and Joss Stone popped along eh? Just putting that out there...

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Day Ends - Bitter Lampooning

Fresh from rather brilliantly winding up Sleaford Mods The Day Ends unleash Bitter Lampooning on an unsuspecting world. It's yet another classic slice of uncompromising but goddamn catchy musical mayhem from the twisted minds of Miles Perhower and co with a sing-along refrain that'll be driving you three shades of bonkers for the next month or so. At the very least.

You can catch 'em, along with loads of other bands (although probably not Sleafords Mods I'm guessing) at the next Sunday Xpress for ruddy free on February 19th at Minerva Works in Digbeth. Be there or Bieber.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Jamiroquai - Automaton

Pointless fact of the day, Jamiroquai was the first act I ever saw, well mainly heard actually, at Glastonbury waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in 1995. That was in the days when you could buy a ticket the weekend before, roll up on the Friday and still get a decent spot to pitch your tent. Seriously. My how things have changed, I half suspect there are people already queuing up to get onsite for this year's Glasto right now. Anyway, back to the 'story'. It was the Friday afternoon and we'd just got on site ourselves and I was taking a pre-emptive toilet break (believe me the loos were a LOT worse back then) and all I could hear was Jamiroquai yelling something about legalising weed. Talk about preaching to the converted eh? From what I can remember the rest of the set was pretty good, even from inside the loo. This was his Acid Jazz period and remarkably for Glastonbury the ruddy sun was out too so at that precise moment life seemed pretty sweet. Sadly we were hopelessly unprepared for the following three days having taken no food or booze (I know...) with us and just about enough cash to afford a loaf of bread (this was before mobile cashpoints, contactless technology or any other kind of financial voodoo). Not quite sure how we survived but a steady stream of free Lipton Ice Teas (they were doing a promotion at the time) kept us hydrated as the temperatures soared to a skin searing 80 degrees. Ouch.

A mere 22 years on we've got the festival thing pretty much covered (always take more booze than you think you could ever drink in a million years, peanuts are the best fuel in the world and prepare for anything from flash floods through to a plague of locusts and you'll be fine) and after what seems like an eternity (but was actually just a mere 7 years) Jamiroquai's back with a Daft Punk-tastic new single Automaton. Hmmmmm, wonder what it sounds like from inside a portaloo...?

Friday, February 03, 2017

Tourists – Masquerade

Had that kind of a week eh? Me too. What you need in your ears is a little Dream Pop courtesy of Tourists. Whipping up a Reni-ish drum beat with more 80s than a Rubik’s Cube style synths and lead singer Jamie Giles’ come to bed vocals Tourist’s latest offering is a 6minute and 29second epic that’s pretty much guaranteed to send you places you normally need at least 3 pints of scrumpy to get to. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

House music...

Just in case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been for the past few days I’ve been on the move again. Ouch. When you’ve accumulated as much vinyl and CDs as I have (plus various other stuff from Bakelite plugs through to old school reports...why?) moving house is one massive ball ache. On the plus side we now have enough room to unpack everything and hopefully thin things out a little/lot on the negative side I’ll now have to wrestle with the thorny problem of whether to keep that entire collection of My Life Story CD singles or not. Oh bugger. Anyway, for no better reason other than the fact that it’s currently sitting in front of me here’s a track from Minor Threat entitled, appropriately enough given that every single one of them in this house needs redecorating, Screaming At A Wall.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Larry Steinbachek RIP

Kicking off 2017 the way 2016 ended (RIP George Michael) comes the sad news that Larry Steinbachek, keyboardist with Bronski Beat, lost his brief battle with cancer last week at just 56. Being the age I am (old) I'm pretty biased when it comes to the music of the 80s but come on, Smalltown Boy is a pretty incredible track right? Somerville left the group in '85 (going on to form The Communards) but Bronski Beat and Steinbachek carried on for a while, notching up another top 3 hit with a new vocalist and then teaming up with Earth Kitt for the fabulously OTT Cha Cha Heels. RIP Larry.