Friday, January 29, 2016

Paul Murphy RIP

Well this year is really taking it's toll on the legends. Now one that I had the very great fortune to know personally (albeit ever so slightly), Mr Paul Murphy. Perhaps best known to many as the force of nature lead singer for The Destroyers he was also an actor, poet, novelist, playwright and, most importantly of all, a ruddy lovely human being. I had no idea he'd been ill but it seems he was diagnosed with cancer last August and very sadly passed away yesterday morning. As several people have already noted today there is indeed a hole in the universe. RIP Mr Murphy. x

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Day Ends...and begins

Okay, had enough of death already this year, time for a birth for a change...and change is clearly in the air with Miles Perhower, Rose of Bearwood and Fibass's new outfit, The Day Ends, Miss Halliwell's bastard offspring that's emerged kicking and screaming in this tantalising behind the scenes clip. Regular readers will know how much I rate Mr P and his one man mission to mess with the music 'biz', it's what the world needs right now more than ever. Coldplay awarded the NME's Godlike Genius award?! You're having a laugh right? Lester Bangs must be vomiting in his grave. Truly it's the end of days...

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Black day...RIP Colin Vearncombe

Whilst it was expected the sad news that Black aka Colin Vearncombe died yesterday after suffering serious head injuries in a car crash two weeks ago was still a shocker. Wonderful Life was an relatively early album purchase for me and the title track that spoke to me as a 17 year old still resonates today as I nudge 46. Of course there was so much more to the man than just that one song and it's well worth setting aside an hour or two to cop a listen to over 31 years worth of music making. He may have had his ups and downs but, musically at least, it really was a wonderful life. RIP.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Animal Collective - FloriDada

And the award for the most addictive track of January 2016 goes to...drum roll please...Animal Collective with FloriDada. Bonus points for the semi-pornographic seizure inducing video too, good work dudes. If you don't wake up in the wee small hours with the chorus going round and round and round...and your head over and over again it'll be a miracle.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Jim Simpson on the beginning of The End...

Oh hell...if the proclamations are to be believed the next Black Sabbath tour will be the last and as the band's original manager, the lovely Mr Jim Simpson, thinks that's the case on the all too brief interview above I've no reason to doubt it. Having still not seen Sabbath live (and me a Brummie too...oh the shame) this is last chance saloon time, 2016 or bust! Just cop a load of this clip from 1970...on my.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Taking the Mic @ The Phoenix, Exeter – Wednesday January 20th 2016

First time at Taking the Mic (see what they did there?), a monthly poetry / singer songwriter / stand up comedy event that seems to be open to all comers, although most of the performers tonight appeared to be regulars. Organised and hosted by the endlessly enthusiastic Tim King and Morwenna Alldis (whose ‘comeback’ poem was one of the highlights) we must’ve whipped through 20 or so performances over a couple of hours (including a heart melting trio of songs from headliner Anna Marie Waite), with most taking a blink and you’ll miss it 5 minute slot. That’s a pretty dizzying whirl of words and there were some wonderful pieces and performances which would take several thousand words (and probably just as many hours knowing my slack ass) to cover, but suffice to say it was a ruddy lovely way to spend a couple of hours on a nippy midweek night. Highly recommended. 

Check out the Taking the Mic Facebook page for details, I'm guessing the next one's sometime in mid February...

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Mass Gothic - Every Night You've Got To Save me

Doleful meets joyful in Mass Gothic's rather splendid new single, Every Night You've Got To Save Me, plucked from the band's self titled album due out on Sub Pop on February 5th. It's a strange mix of 60s girl group style woop woop backing and sad slacker lead vocals (a bit Badly Drawn Boy here and there) replete with a suitably low key, low budget vid apparently filmed on a night out in Manhattan...much of which seemed to have consisted of sitting in a bath tub being smacked in the face with a glove. Sounds like my kind of evening...

Friday, January 15, 2016

Back to Black...

It's been a bad week for lovers of great music. First of all Bowie returns to the stars from whence he came and then Colin Vearncombe, a wonderful singer and songwriter who you may remember for the classic single Wonderful Life was critically injured in a car crash and, at the time of writing sadly remains in a coma. On top of sending him all my best it's as good an opportunity as any to revisit some of his best stuff.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Ashes to ashes...

We’ve seen a fair number of musical icons die over the years but the outpouring of grief and sheer shock resonating through the world today following Bowie’s passing is something else. For once it’s well and truly deserved too. After all who else managed to reinvent themselves so brilliantly over and over again over almost half a century? Who else managed to be both commercially and critically successful (albeit with a few slight stumbles along the way)? And who else has had such a huge influence on so many other bands and artists? It goes further than that even. No Bowie no 80s music or fashion as we knew it. Simple. No Duran Duran, Japan, Soft Cell, Human League, Spandau Ballet, Madonna, Adam and the Ants and lord knows how many other bands. Into the 90s bands like Suede based their whole careers on Bowie’s, Lady Gaga clearly owes the dude a huge debt and surely the LGBT community’s lives would be infinitely less comfortable if it hadn’t been for a man who ‘came out’ (okay so he later confessed to being bi-sexual but still, it was a damn brave move in the 70s) back when homosexuality had only recently been legalised and other artists were so far in the closet it would take a search party and six months to find ‘em. My own personal journey with Bowie probably started back in 1980 with Ashes to Ashes, although I have distant memories of his music filtering through my even earlier years. I was lucky enough to see him live at one of the definitive Glastonbury headline slots in 2000 and have a healthy collection of original albums embracing pretty much his entire career (yep...even Tin Machine). As recently as last week he was still releasing surprising and inspirational new music, perhaps the album’s title itself, Blackstar, being a thinly veiled acknowledgment of his imminent passing (certainly much of the new material now seems prophetic). Who knows? One thing’s pretty certain though. No matter who comes after him he’ll always be the ultimate star, man. 

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

New Year, new music...

The annual BBC Music Sound of 2016 longlist thingy has just been released and a couple of names spring out straight away, Blossoms (who were one of the many highlights at last year’s MoFolk) and Dua Lipa (from the management team that brought us Lana Del Rey) who’s apparently getting some decent airplay on Radio that’s at least three people who’ve heard her new single then. It’s not bad, a bit of a hands in the air 80s vibe to the chorus and a little smoky transatlantic tinge to the vocals, cop a listen...

Monday, January 04, 2016

Lemmy RIP

Happy New Year and all that jazz. It really wouldn't be right to let the passing of Lemmy go by without a quick tribute to a man who clearly well and truly lived the rock 'n' roll lifestyle, drinking, smoking and shagging his way through a career in the music biz that still somehow still lasted over half a century, from being a roadie for Hendrix, through to fronting Hawkwind's biggest single and then onto helming the mighty Motorhead for a mere four decades.

After meaning to go and see the band for years and years I was fortunate enough to see Lemmy and co at their last Birmingham gig in 2014 when he was briefly joined on stage by original drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor who also sadly shuffled off this mortal coil last year, a month or so before Lemmy himself. At the time it kind of seemed that Lemmy was, as he noted himself recently, indestructible, but not even Mr Kilmister could beat the grim reaper forever, although he gave it a damn good shot. If there's a lesson in there somewhere I guess it's don't wait to see that band you love if the chance is right there in front of you 'cos one day all you'll be left with are some crappy You Tube clips and a bucketful of regrets. Anyway, here's a few more of Lemmy's greatest hits. If there's an afterlife let's hope the bar serves Jack Daniels eh?

And here's Lemmy's last ever interview, recorded just a few weeks ago...who knows, we may not have seen the last of him...