Tuesday, October 17, 2017
One of my musical heroes, Marc Almond, is in the news for having the audacity to tell a couple of 'ladies' sitting and chatting loudly in the front row of his gig in Ipswich to basically shut the fuck up (these may not have been the exact words but that's the gist of it). Good on him that's what I say. The first time I saw him live way back in 1988 at The Powerhouse in Brum exactly the same thing happened during a particularly impassioned performance of In Your Bed (and that was a sweaty 'club' gig as opposed to a seated posh do). I've never understood people who not only pay to get into a gig but then stand at the front and talk. I mean...what...the...actual...hell?! Nowadays there's a new spin on this age old problem, people standing at the front surfing the web on their ruddy shitty 'smart' phones, turning round with the back to the band and taking crappy selfies to show what a great time they're having. Quite frankly the lovely Mr Almond, and any other performer who has their show interrupted by these utter arses, should have the automatic right to leap from the stage and decapitate the offenders with an axe. Harsh but fair I'd say. Respect the performers putting their hearts and souls into the show, respect your fellow audience members who may well have spunked a huge chuck of their disposable income to be there and finally respect yourself by ACTUALLY LISTENING TO SOMETHING OTHER THAN YOUR INANE CHATTER. Ahhhhh, that's better.
PS: Here's Wilco's Jeff Tweedy attempting to tackle the same problem...
Friday, October 13, 2017
'wood you believe it, on Sunday it'll be two years since we left Bearwood and Brum. TWO YEARS! Given that I was born and raised there and spent 42 years in the place inevitably I still miss it and its people, although judging by the number of friendly Brummie accents you hear down here in Devon half of Birmingham's population's seemingly decamped to the South West.
Anyway, the last time I lived away from Brum (before this one) was my 3 year stay in Brighton during the student years (oh so many baked beans) and when I did venture back I'd often listen to the first Voice of the Beehive album, Let It Bee (on cassette, naturally). Somehow, no matter how long the journey took, the track Just A City always seemed to be playing as that familiar skyline came into sight. So, two years since I last left, it seems entirely fitting that I give it another spin.
PS: How good were Voice of the Beehive? Jangly pop perfection. Incredibly this track stalled at number 42 in the charts. Criminal!
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
More news from the The Day Ends, this time it's a super special gig THIS SUNDAY (October 15th) in collaboration with The CPM Connection. Suffice to say you won't have heard or seen anything like this ever before and it promises to be quite possibly one of the most life affirming and unpredictable gigs this year...or any year for that matter...and that's a wonderful, wonderful thing. It all kicks off at 6.45pm and entry's on a 'pay what you want basis'. You don't get that from Bieber do you eh?
Here's a little pre gig promo from The CPM Connection themselves...
Monday, October 09, 2017
Still fighting off the flu but now I've added the fallout of a chilli eating competition that I entered yesterday too. Ouch. Happily a new live clip from The Day Ends came my way this morning. The line up may be new but the sound's as epic and confrontational as ever with the semi-shamanic Miles Perhower this time venting his considerable spleen against the world of pop music promoters.
My faith in the band (and its predecessor Miss Halliwell) remains as solid as ever and, quite frankly, we need music like this more than ever these days. With rumours of a new album in the pipework (actually do you mind if we don't talk about pipework...those chillis are wreaking havoc with mine) and plans to get out on the road 2018 could well - finally - be their year. Quite frankly that doesn't really matter anymore. Miles and co have done and continue to do what they hell they like, leaving behind an enviable body of work that will quite possibly outlast even styrofoam. So there.
Wednesday, October 04, 2017
No posts for almost a week but I've got an excuse. The flu. Pretty sure it's 'flu' rather than a mere common cold...mainly because I'm struggling open my eyes let alone anything more strenuous. I wonder if there are any songs about the flu I wondered in my semi-delirious state. Silly question. Of course there is.
Thursday, September 28, 2017
Dropped by a brand new barbers in Exeter (The Roots Foundation) during a bike ride on Sunday and spotted that they sell vinyl too. It turns out they're all from a label called Specialist Subject Records (who may have been based in Exeter at one time but their HQ's in Brizzle now) who seem to specialise in the kind of indie stuff that well and truly floats my boat. In fact one of their signings is Pillow Queens who've had a few plays on 6 Music recently with the rather fabulous Rats.
Here are a few more picks from their current roster. Enjoy!
Monday, September 25, 2017
Very sad to hear of the passing of Charles Bradley on Saturday evening via the always excellent Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show. We were lucky enough to see the 'Screaming Eagle of Soul' at the Hare and Hounds back in 2013 when he was finally getting the recognition he deserved after 40 years or so of damn hard slog and enough personal tragedies to knock most people down for good. The only blessing is that at least he did get his time in the spotlight, albeit too little and too late.
What now for Daptone Records, home of both Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones who passed away less than 12 months ago? Proper soul voices are hard to come by these days, and by proper I mean the kind of voices that have been shaped by decades of club dates and real pain and suffering, which is something that you just can't replicate. I'm sure they're still out there but the loss of both Bradley and Jones leaves a massive soul shaped hole in the universe.
RIP Mr Bradley.