Thursday, August 31, 2017

Take a Momus...

Okay, I'm just going to throw this one out there and you can explore it/him - or not - for yourselves, but have you ever heard of Momus? I've been a casual fan for 30 odd years (odd perhaps being the operative word) and during that time he's produced some of the most fascinating and challenging music the world has ever heard...often to relatively little response (some of his You Tube vids attract just a few hundred hits with is frankly a disgrace...bad, bad, world), although he did have a number 94 smash hit in the UK Singles Chart in 1989 with the Pet Shop Boys meets Scott Walker-ish Hairstyle of the Devil.

Anyway, please check him out, he's a truly fascinating character and if you don't like one or two or, hell, one hundred, of his songs keep on clicking until you do. Trust me, it'll be worth it.

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Ripps - Holiday

It's almost the weekend...the Bank Holiday weekend too...and the sun's shining...good grief. So what better track to get you in the mood than The Ripps classic Holiday. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Beautiful Days Festival (well some of it at least) – Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th August

Being a bit broke – plus the line up wasn’t really as appealing to us as last year – we’d decided to give Beautiful Days a miss this year but fate in the form of some last minute (very last minute in fact) free tickets had other ideas so on Saturday morning we set off for sunny (ahem) Escot Park. By the time we’d got settled, hooked up with random strangers and old friends for a cheeky pint or six we only managed to catch a few bands. Small and Gold, four sisters from Oxford, were ruddy great, New Model Army were still pleasingly shouty but Sisters of Mercy somewhat divided opinion, partly because lead sister Andrew kept vanishing in a haze of smoke or wandering around the back of the stage like a man looking for his car keys. Still Temple of Love, This Corrosion and Dominion remained mighty fine goth anthems even if I suspect that not everything was being played live. Hmmmm...

Sunday was a lot more fruitful, musically speaking/listening at least. We kicked the day off with ‘the Hendrix of the kora’ N’Faly Kouyate, Exeter’s finest Sound of the Sirens and 2 Tone legend Rhoda Dakar who was delightfully batty, coming onstage with her dress undone, failing to get her logo emailed and loaded on the screen at the back of the stage on time and giving us all her best Bruce Forsyth impressions. Bless.

Hip Hop, Cuba and comedy might seem like an odd combo but The Cuban Brothers (who I last saw playing on the roof of a bus at Glastonbury about 15 years ago) are (back) flipping brilliant. Mixing soul, hip hop and sexy talk they’re that rare beast a genuinely funny parody act who, if they ditched the humour and costumes, could quite possibly make a serious grab for Bruno Mars’ crown (jewels). 

As the drizzle slowly but inevitably became a downpour The Lightening Seeds gave the hardy/faithful a greatest hits packed set reminding anyone who’d forgotten them just what a great pop singles band they were/are. We took shelter in our tent though and listened to it all as we vainly tried to dry off before bravely battling through the mud to the Bandstand to catch former Inspiral Carpet Tom Hingley. Arriving to find no one there we feared his set had been cancelled but he spotted me from behind a fence on his way to the loo and cheerily shouted out “Not long to wait”. Thankfully he or the Bandstand crew allowed the growing audience to shelter under the bandstand itself which turned the whole thing into a delightfully intimate gig featuring impressive new tracks from Tom’s forthcoming solo album plus some rather fabulous acoustic version of Carpets classics.  

Wet footing it to a rammed Big Top we watched Alison Moyet from outside (thankfully the rain had stopped by now) run through her career highlights from the early synth sounds of Yazoo, through to the glossy pop of Love Resurrection, Is This Love and Whispering Your Name. 

That just left The Levellers to polish things off with their traditional two hour set. No matter how many times I hear it One Way still strikes a chord but there was only one song that could cap off the weekend and as What a Beautiful Day climaxed (steady now Cuban Brothers) and the sky lit up with a budget busting firework display, despite the rain, mud and hangover, it really had been. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Labi Siffre - It Must Be Love

I don't often post any personal stuff on here, who the hell wants to know about some 47 year old with a dodgy 'tache and penchant for scrumpy. But today's a bit of a milestone, my 21st wedding anniversary. Way back then 'our song' was Madness' cover of Labi Siffre's It Must Be Love so what better excuse to stick up the original eh? Has a better love song ever been written? Nope. I don't think it has. Good work Mr Siffre.

The CPM 15th!

Inspirational really doesn't do this lot justice...The CPM Connection well and truly ROCK OUT. It's as pure a musical expression as you're ever likely to hear on planet earth and you lucky people can catch 'em live on Sunday October 15th, details right here.

PS: Also on the bill is The Day Ends who've just...literally minutes ago...unveiled a new line up! Here's a slice of prime The Day Ends from a previous incarnation.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Great Lost Bands of the Noughties # 6 - Tilly and the Wall

It must be a nightmare being a drummer. Just imagine having to haul all that kit around with you. And putting it together and then breaking it down again after the gig? Good grief, screw that for a game. Who knows, perhaps that was partially the thinking behind Omaha's finest Tilly and the Wall who did away with the traditional sticks man/woman and replaced  it with...a tap dancer instead. Yep, a tap dancer. It might sound a little odd but it worked and not just in a "Oh, that's a bit interesting" kind of way but a "Hell yes, tap dancing percussion is the way forward people" revelation. At least it did to me, but then again maybe I'm a little odd.

Anyway, it wasn't just the tap dancing that made Tilly and the Wall so great, they wrote the kind of 'screw you world' stomp along indie pop anthems that made you feel like you could scale tall buildings in a single leap and the two live shows I was lucky enough to catch remain some of the most joyful I've ever experienced (see my gushing review right here). They still seem to exist, although there's been no new album for 5 years, quite possibly because their tap dancer Jamie may well have worn her legs down to stumps...

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Grateful Dead - Touch of Grey

Heard this on 6 Music today for the first time in ages. I'm ancient enough to remember when it first came out way back in 1987. It meant one thing when I was 17 but at 47...oh takes on a completely different meaning. Bonus points for the suitably ghoulish video too, sadly prophetic as lead singer Jerry Garcia succumbed to his various ailments and addictions 8 years later at just 53.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Wild Billy Childish and CTMF - Are You Better Than Me

If it ain't broke don't fix it. It's a philosophy that's served Mr Childish pretty well over the past 40 years and his latest release, Are You Better Than Me, is yet another fine slice of lo-fi garage rock that's pretty much screaming to be listened to on an original 1960's Dansette. Okay, as it's not out yet and you've probably not got an original 1960's Dansette we'll just have to make do with You Tube. Billy would surely be horrified but as he's probably never sullied his soul by using the 'intermess' hopefully he'll be none the wiser.