Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Chuffed to hear new stuff from Yello, grandfathers of quirky electronic dance pop and quite possibly the oddest pairing in musical history. Formed way back in 1979 the lead singer, Dieter Meier, now a mere 71 years young, is amongst other things a millionaire industrialist, conceptual artist and owner of his own chocolate factory. Former truck driver Boris Blank is a self taught musical genius and one of the pioneers of sampling back in the days when it involved an awful lot of tape, a razor blade and some glue. Together they've recorded 13 albums and scored one of the most unique chart hits ever with The Race, all 13 minutes and 23 seconds of it. Brilliantly bonkers they're just about to make their proper live debut with a short series of concerts in Berlin. Tantalisingly there's talk of some UK dates at some point too.
PS: On a personal note I was lucky enough to meet the charming and dapper Mr Meier at a low key record signing at HMV in Brighton way back in 1991 and I practically begged him to play live one day. And now, a mere quarter of a century later, voila! Everything comes to he who waits eh?
PPS: Here's one of their classic tracks coupled with some scenes from a movie that never fails to make me feel 15 again (which takes some doing these days) Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Friday, September 23, 2016
Attention Midlands peeps (and peeps from further afield who can get their raggedy old/young/middle aged arses to Digbeth), this Sunday sees the start of another series of Sunday Xpress’s and it’s a typically strong bill with The Dollcanoes and the inspirational The CPM Connection along with a new name to me, The Retinal Circus, intriguingly billed as ‘multi-layered multi-dimensional music’. The whole thing kicks off at 5pm with a couple of hours of anything goes open mic mayhem before the bands take to the stage at 7pm. And. It’s. All. Ruddy. Free.
I’m stuffed full of admiration for the Sunday Xpress posse and everyone who performs there so pop along and show ‘em some love. Good times guaranteed or your money back.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
For an all too brief moment in the mid noughties it looked as though The Rumble Strips blend of Dexys brass-vado and soul (great on record, three flavours of awesome live) might just make it but sadly it wasn’t too be and the band faded away without so much as a whimper back in 2010. Fast forward six years though and seemingly out of the blue they’re back, back, back with a series of new tracks recorded on a floating lighthouse in East London. Yes, really.
So far half a dozen songs have been uploaded to Spotify and You Tube with a similar number still tantalisingly to come. Happily lead Strip Charlie Waller’s slightly battered and bruised but still defiant outlook on life’s still firmly in place, notably in the gloriously doomed romanticism of Around The World in which he plans to write a shit song, sell it to an ad agency and then use the money to buy a car to drive him and his/a girl around the world until he’s had enough at which both he and the car will conk out (of course he puts it so much better than this which is why he’s in a band and I’m in a small room rocking gently backwards and forwards). As business plans go it’s not a bad idea but personally I’d prefer it if the wonderful listening public bought the band’s ruddy records instead (once they get round to pressing some that is). In the meantime some live dates are promised later this year (HINT: PLAY EXETER PLEASE), watch this space.
PS: Here's a prime slice of early Rumble Strips for you too. Enjoy.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
As I've said on more than one occasion recently I've very little idea of what's in the charts these days which, given that there seems to be a chart for pretty much every genre under the sun probably isn't surprising. There is still an official UK chart though and whilst I recognise roughly 50% of the names on it I could only hum (badly) one or two tracks at best. It's not a worry, the charts have never been for people nudging 50, but one thing hasn't changed since I used to tape the Radio One chart show back in the early 80s (awwww bless) and that's songs that should have made the top 10 but somehow didn't. Take this one from Jason Derulo for instance, okay he's clearly nicked some of his dance moves and vocals from Jacko (with more than a nod towards Prince too) but it's a perfectly decent piece of pop funk that reached the dizzying heights of...number 87. Good grief. Still the video's been watched by over 5million people so at least Mr Derulo will earn a good $3 or so for his efforts. Anyway, play it loud and dance around in your pants, it's a...ahem...banger.
Friday, September 09, 2016
The second legendary Prince to leave us this year, this time it's the father of ska himself , Prince Buster. No Prince Buster, no Madness, The Specials, The Beat, The Selector, No Doubt and countless other bands who owe their entire careers to the sound he helped to pioneer. "Enjoy yourself it's later than you think" Wise words. RIP.
A mere week on from the mind melting collective melting mind of The Day Ends comes part two of Episode Three of Day Ends TV, another 15 minutes or so of random sensory abuse that straddles that fine line between complete mental breakdown and utter genius. It's like being a fly on the wall...albeit a fly on the wall coated liberally in acid. Where the band goes from here is anyone's guess, personally I wouldn't be surprised if they wrote and recorded the best pop song the world has ever heard (and I mean ever...imagine that...the one pop song that renders any other effort worthless...)...just for the hell of it...then produced a quadruple album of thrash jazz before starting a new cult based entirely on Miles Perhower's trumpet (and no, that's not a euphemism).
Thursday, September 08, 2016
Very sad to hear that Exeter Cavern Club was seriously damaged in a fire on Tuesday night and is likely to remain closed for the "foreseeable future". I've only made it along there once since moving down to Exeter (thanks in no small part to South West Trains' decision to stop running trains to my village at 11pm, often precisely the time that the headline act comes on) but I had high hopes of making it a regular haunt once I've sorted out the logistics of getting back...or moved...whichever comes first. For a City with such a big student population there seems to be a distinct lack of decent gig venues (and gigs for that matter) but the Cavern's put on the good stuff for quarter of a century (see the vid above showing the much missed Long Blondes for instance) and if it's lost forever it'd be nothing short of a tragedy. Happily an appeal's already been launched (smashing the £3,000 target in a matter of hours) to raise dosh to cover the repairs so hopefully, like its nearby neighbour, it'll soon rise like a Phoenix (see what I did there?...it's an Exeter thing) as soon as possible.
Tuesday, September 06, 2016
Ashamed as I am for not really keeping up to date with a lot of new music it never ceases to amaze me how so much good stuff escaped me back in the day, like this little gem from Alice In Chains/Pearl Jam/Screaming Trees supergroup offshoot Mad Season. Okay so it failed to chart here in the UK but it reached a very respectable number 20 in the US of A and is pretty much a perfect slice of hypnotic doom laden grunge goodness. Sadly bassist John Baker Saunders died of an overdose in 1999 aged 44 and lead singer Layne Staley went the same way just three years later aged just 34. Shit. Play it loud and party like it's 1995.
Friday, September 02, 2016
Channelling the screaming spirits of, amongst others, Miles Davies, William Burroughs and Link Wray (now there's a party I'd like to be at) Episode 3 of The Day Ends semi regular vids is another mind warping experimental art attack designed to send those with fragile minds over the edge and most other people hurtling back to the beige aural security blanket of Anytown FM. If you understand it then you don't get it and if you get it you certainly don't understand it. Got that? Good.
Thursday, September 01, 2016
I'm all about the catchy so this newbie from art popsters Cocoa Futures is right up my passage. Based around what sounds like one of those jack in the box thingies (you know, the ones where you wind a handle until a freaky clown pops up and scares the bejesus out of small children) it's one of those tracks that'll embed itself in your brain within seconds and keep popping up when you're trying to concentrate on whatever it is that you lovely people do. Hailing from bonnie Scotland but now based in Tottenham the band's been around for a few years now, honing their Tom Tom Club-ish sound to complete and utter perfection on The Blue. It's not officially out until December 2nd (by then it'll probably have driven you quite,quite bonkers...in a good way of course...but bonkers nevertheless) but you can enjoy it right now. You're welcome.