Friday, September 14, 2018

Boy George and Culture Club - Let Somebody Love You

I meant to post the new single from Boy George and Culture Club last week but, you know, life, work and everything in between. It's a neat little update of the Culture Club sound with George in particularly good form vocally. Hopefully the band can all get on with each other this time and health issues won't get in the way of tours and stuff as the world could really do with a little Culture Club right now...

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Miles Hunt - On The Ropes

Beautifully stripped back version of The Stufffies' On The Ropes (taken from new solo album The Custodian) performed by its author Mr Miles Hunt, simply one of the most underrated songwriters around.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Surfrajettes - Toxic

Hands up who wants to hear a surf version of Britney Spears' Toxic? You too eh. Okay, my wish is your command. The Hearing Aid...making dreams come true since 2006.

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Darwin Deez - The World's Best Kisser

How lovely is this? Funnily enough I was just wondering what had happened to Darwin Deez and, as if by magic, there's a bunch of new(ish) material from him on You Tube. Apparently he did the vid for this track himself too. Good grief. 

In case you're wondering who the hell Darwin Deez is maybe this track will refresh your memory.

Awesome eh? Hey, us bros with dodgy moustaches have to big each other up from time to time.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Sound of Rum

Off to a rum festival this weekend...100 different rums to try...what could possibly go wrong? All this impending rum based fun reminded me of Sound of Rum, the jazz tinged band that the wonderful Kate Tempest fronted back in the day. It's been great to see Tempest go on to bigger things but honestly she deserves far, far more acclaim than she gets. Stormzy, schmorzy eh?

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Juniore - Panique

It looks as though this ultra chic slice of 60's sounding French indie pop has been out for a couple of years now but I've only recently heard it via the ever reliable 6Music. Organ-asmically good stuff.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Jesus and his Judgemental Father - It Might Get Better

Friday banger this week is a perfect slice of defiant queer punk from earlier this year courtesy of the brilliantly named Jesus and his Judgemental Father (who sadly seemingly split up in April). Play it loud and pogo yer ruddy legs off.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Katherine Priddy - Wolf

After several solo releases one of folk's brightest young things Katherine Priddy is just on the cusp of unleashing her first band backed material and this is the utterly divine title track. Lush eh? Back in Brum I was lucky enough to see Katherine a fair few times, usually at MoFolk, and was always struck by the gilded gossamer of her vocal, delicate but with a confidence that belied her age, and it's been wonderful to see that talent continue to bloom over the past few years. Order the EP right here right now for £5 before September 1st and she'll even sign a copy for you. Priddy cool eh?

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Say hello to the NEW single from Soft Cell!

Blimey. Not content with playing a farewell gig at the O2 Arena Soft Cell have just released their first new single in almost 20 years (link here...I can't copy and paste the vid because The Guardian's put some sort of voodoo on it). It's got that distinctive plinky plonky synthy sound that the Cell were famous for together with a little extra pop polish for good measure and, suitably enough, it's a homage to Marc and Dave's formative years in the Northern soul scene. Hmmmm, I wonder if they've ever heard Tainted Love by Gloria Jones...they should do a cover of that...might get somewhere...

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Aretha Franklin RIP

As The Queen of Pop turns 60 The Queen of Soul goes to that great gig in the sky. Happy birthday Madge and RIP Aretha.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The French - The Model

No bargain CDs at the weekend but picked up a handful of 7 inch singles including this little 'darkwave' gem by The French with their cover of Kraftwerk's The Model. It dates from the same year that the single version of Das Werk's track was released and really couldn't sound much more early 80s if it tried. As far as I can tell The French only released a couple of singles so there's very little about them on t'internet. If you do happen to know anything about the band though please leave a comment and we can fill in yet another little hole in the musical universe. Merci!


Thanks to the wonders of modern technology and the loveliness of the chap concerned I managed to track down and catch up with The French's lead singer Mr William Redfern! Here's his message:

'Hi Daron, Ha! I am indeed that same person! How fantastic that all these years later people are still finding us. We were based in Manchester from 1980 until 1984 (after moving our band Art Failure from Nottingham and reinventing ourselves), which was an exciting time in that city- the band eventually fell apart and we all went our separate ways until a few years ago when thanks to Facebook we all got back in touch again, in fact our guitarist Graham Lees now has a studio in LA and he remastered all our stuff (and Art Failure's album) and it's all now available on iTunes, Spotify etc if you wanted to hear some more - though it's listed as The French 8083 as weirdly another band called The French came into being in the intervening years. Thanks for getting in touch, I'm so pleased that our 'babies' are still out there being discovered.

Ps, Just read your blog about it too, lovely thanks - and as you mention it came out the same year as Kraftwerk had a hit with The Model ...and thereby hangs a tale... The Model was of course released in 1977 on Man Machine and had never been a hit but we'd always loved it so thought it would be fun to do a funky version. Shorty after we released it Kraftwerk played at The Apollo in Manchester as part of the Computer World tour and we managed to blag in to see them backstage and gave them a copy of our single (they were a bit confused by our presence but were very sweet chaps) so, about four months later they re-released it as a double A side single with Computer Love, The Model was picked on up by a Radio 1 DJ (can't remember who) and became a number 1 for them - we are all convinced that they thought 'well if kids are doing covers of this maybe it time to release it again' - and whilst I have no proof I still reckon I play an, albeit anonymous, role in music history!'

Anonymous no more! What a ruddy great story eh? Bearing in mind that The Model first came out on the Man-Machine album in 1978 as Das Model it would be fascinating to know if Kraftwerk were indeed inspired to release the English translation on the B side of Computer Love in 1981 by The French's take on the track...

Here's a darn fine post punk track by Art Failure (pre-The French) too! 

Friday, August 10, 2018

Jake Shears - Big Bushy Moustache

At last, a song devoted to moustaches. Hurrah! And from the lovely Jake Shears too. Loooooove it! Remember people moustaches are for life, not just Movember.

CD does it...

The growing tsunami of bargain charity shop CDs continues to flood into Baron Towers at an alarming rate, but at anything from 25p - 50p each I just can't help myself. Last week I picked up Nirvana's Bleach for 50p and the Floyd 'hits' album A Foot In The Door for just 33p which, let's face really it isn't a lot of money...ahem.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

All About Eve - What Kind Of Fool (Autumn Rhapsody)

Sniff the air. Can you smell it? Yep, there's a whiff of Autumn in the air quite possibly brought forward a bit by the fact that we actually had a Summer this year...with sun...and heat...and no sodding rain every sodding day. Hurrah! I actually like the different seasons so Autumn holds no fear for me, it's when every season blurs into the next in a depressing grey drizzle that I get hacked off with it all. So, in honour of Autumn's arrival (whenever it might actually finally kick in) here's a little All About Eve and the Autumn Rhapsody version of What Kind Of Fool. I can practically smell the patchouli oil oozing out of my speakers.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Chaka Khan - Like Sugar

I keep hearing this track and every time I do I think "Damn that's some funky shit, who's it by?". Maybe it's old age or maybe I simply can't believe that it's the work of Chaka Khan who's now officially a pensioner, bless her. Undoubtedly the best thing she's done since, well this equally surprising track (another solid gold Friday banger) back in the day...

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Amyl and The Sniffers - Cup Of Destiny

Okay, with a name like Amyl and The Sniffers this lot ain't going to be a folk act are they eh? Nope, this is straight up old skool punk. Apparently they can cut it live too, not that I imagine they'll make it down to Devon any time soon. Shame, I'd happily share a pint of cider...or possibly even a cup of destiny or two...with them.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

BC Camplight - I'm Desperate

Old BC's been churning out some criminally underappreciated masterpieces for years now and his latest is yet another one. Do your ears a favour and get all over it. Oooooh oooooh.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Electribe 101 - Talking With Myself

Plucked a random box of records to listen to last Saturday night and struck memory gold with Electribe 101's Talking With Myself. Apparently this track originally came out in 1988...30 ruddy years ago. Sadly the band had a bit of a falling out after achieving some minor success in the early 90s but this tune's a bit of a forgotten gem.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Now That's What I Call Historical

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in 1983 when the original Now That's What  Call Music came out I was just 13. I know, bless me eh?

I didn't buy that one or Now 2, but I did get Now 3 (I think) for Christmas in 1984. On tape. And a personal tape player too. How hip can you get? I remember wondering at the time how many of these Now albums will they release, fast forward a mere 35 years and we're now at Now 100. Wow.

I have no idea how many copies Now sells these days but back in the 80s it was a big deal with over a million copies of Now 1 being shifted on vinyl and tape (this was pre CD days kids). It was a cooler compilation series compared to the Ronco and K-Tel releases that we'd been used to and although it was all chart fodder chart fodder in those days seemed a lot better than what we've got now.

On top of the track above this gibberish here's a trio of other original Now tracks to prove the point. Enjoy!

Hmmmm, I wonder if they'll get to Now 200? That would make me...oh bugger...83. Curiously enough of course the first Now came out in 1983. Spooky eh? Right, I'll see you back here in 2053, it's a date.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Tom Jones / Into The Ark @ Powderham Castle, Sunday July 15th 2018

It’s been a while since I’ve done a ‘big gig’ and this was probably the first time I’ve ever attended one of those increasingly popular ‘mega names in a posh place’ shows. A number of performers (often those with a history that dates back almost as far as the stately homes that host quite a few of these gigs) hit the road (or air I’m guessing) these days and with tickets at £40+ a pop and a capacity of several thousand punters (plus a cut of the bar no doubt) you can see why.

Tonight’s show was standing at the rear and seated at the front, separated by a barrier which created a kind of ‘them and us’ divide that I’m not used to/in favour of. Plus, of course, the 'standers' (including us this evening) were some way from the stage with no chance of getting closer meaning that you end up watching the action on giant screens. I’ll be honest it’s not my bag but after a pleasant enough set from Into The Ark (the legend himself picked them during a recent series of The Voice and had apparently taken ‘em on tour across the States) Sir Tom delivered the kind of classic hits littered set that few performers left on planet earth could match.

For many of us the songs that made up the bulk of tonight’s set are practically in our DNA, What’s New Pussycat?, It’s Not Unusual, Delilah, Mama Told Me Not To Come, Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay, Green Green Grass Of Home, Ring of Fire, Kiss...not all Tom originals but he pretty much makes everything he sings his own. At 78 and a bit that voice is seemingly as powerful as ever but with an added richness that comes from decades (six and counting) of performing. Of course as well as being one of the greats this dude’s sung with pretty much all of them too, what I wouldn’t have given to have been a fly on the wall when he used to sing gospel with Elvis after shows in Vegas, just one of the little anecdotes casually dropped into tonight’s set.

Thanks to GWR, who stop running trains from Exeter to Dawlish at 10pm...cos, you know, why would anyone actually want to go out in the evening eh?...we had to leave before the show ended...but we saw most of the set along with the ‘entertaining’ sight of a number of ladies of a certain age off their tits on Prosecco (£15 for half a bottle) flinging their thongs around in the air. As you'd expect the hits all went down a storm but for me the highlight was a fine rendition of Cohen’s Tower Of Song, lyrics and performer in perfect harmony. Great to hear another relatively modern Tom track (well, 1995's pretty recent to me)If I Only Knew too, I'd forgotten how good this was and the pace he knocked this one out at tonight was mightily impressive. YEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All in all the boy(o) done good. 

Snooky Fest 2018 @ Warren Farm, Dawlish - Saturday July 14th 2018

This might only be the second Snooky Fest but it’s already a firm favourite here at Baron Towers and, judging by our fellow festival goers we’re not the only ones. What’s not to love though eh? A wonderful location, some great bands, cider, sun and a truly life changing cause (The Snooky Trust which raises money to help 18-40 year olds in Devon who are suffering from a physical illness of any description). 

As with last year the acts performed a crowd pleasing mix of self penned tunes and cover versions, everything from rock to reggae and punk to pop, some of which would genuinely give the originals a run for their money. 

Too many highlights to list but The Gravity Drive deserve a special mention for a cracking set culminating with The Wake Of The Dawn (which I still maintain is a perfect Bond theme in waiting...even the title sounds 007-tastic) and festival closer Eventine who got me dancing about like a Duracell bunny on speed. 

Massive respect to Caz Steffans and her team for putting it all on, here’s to Snooky Fest 2019!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Doris - Did You Give The World Some Love Today Baby

I gave up watching 'the game' after Croatia scored their first goal and spent the rest of the evening far more enjoyably by digging out some old tunes. Here's a bit of a hidden gem, Doris, with one of the finest slices of orchestral pop and soul ever committed to vinyl. Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

I should be so Snooky, Snooky, Snooky, Snooky...

Okay, Kylie might not be playing (although if she happens to read this I'm sure she'd be more than welcome to pop along) but this Saturday's Snooky Fest bill is jam packed (obviously there's cream UNDER the jam too, we do things properly here in Devon) with the South West's finest, like the lovely folk from The Gravity Drive for instance. On top of being a cracking day out for all the family (and Kylie) all profits go to The Snooky Trust which raises cash to help 18-40 year olds with a physical illness of any description. Tickets are just £20 too, available right here right now.

Here's a little trailer to get you in the mood...

Thursday, July 05, 2018

The Count & Sinden ft Mystery Jets - After Dark

Bugger me, it's been a while since I heard this one but for some strange reason it popped in to what's left of my brain just now. It's a little bit disco, it's a little bit bit indie, it's a little bit pop...whack it all together and it's a complete and utter banger. Boom.

No idea what happened to The Count & Sinden but Mystery Jets are still doing their thing, largely ignored by most of planet earth for some reason.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Let’s Rock Exeter 2018 @ Powderham Castle, June 30th 2018

As I probably said last year (and the year before) it might not be the coolest festival around (Black Lace anyone?) but for pure pop pleasure you’d have to go a long way to beat a Let’s Rock line-up, that is if you’re of a...ahem...certain age. At 48 (jeez...) I fit snugly into Let’s Rock’s target audience, people who grew up in an era when pop was fun, vinyl was still king (for part of the decade at least) and millions of people of all ages tuned in to watch Jimmy Savile get suspiciously close to young ladies on Top Of The Pops. First up today though a group that can trace its origins all the way back to the 70s, Aswad, who, like many on today’s bill, played a short but sweet mini greatest hits set climaxing with Don’t Turn Around and Smile. Nice to see/hear original vocalist Angus Gaye’s son up there rappin’ away, who knows maybe he’ll be fronting the band at Let’s Rock 2038? Next up Modern Romance, now fronted by former drummer Andy Kyriacou, who Ay Ay Ay Ay Moosey-ed his way through most of the band’s early 80s Latin tinged hits.

I wrongly assumed there’d be another break then and started making my way to the loo (hey, I’m 48...that cider goes right through you) and got halfway through the swamp of chairs, tents, rugs, picnic hampers and various other detritus just as Fuzzbox bounded on. Now I do love a bit of Fuzzbox but by the time I’d made my way back they’d romped through both International Rescue and Pink Sunshine and vanished backstage to get stuck in to the peanuts and crudités. Yes, Let’s Rock certainly whips through the acts. In fact the bloke from Brother Beyond was on and off so swiftly that if you’d blinked slowly you’d have missed him altogether. Still, on the plus side if there’s someone you don’t like you don’t have to put up with ‘em for long. I’m a bit uncertain of the order from here onwards (blame the age and the cider) but Wendy James stomped her way impressively through a trio of Transvision Vamp’s best bits with all the energy and attitude of a teen jacked up on speed, Bow Wow Wow’s Anabella Lwin went wild in the country and Hazel Dean got me searchin’...and indeed ‘lookin’ for love’ with an all too short set of Hi-NRG classics.

Somewhere along the way Peter Coyle (Lotus Eaters) gave us a fine Solsbury Hill (if you squint a bit he looks a little like Peter Gabriel from back in the day) and his own band’s only hit (hey, if you’re going to have a hit this ain’t a bad one to have) First Picture Of You and The Fizz (the original Bucks Fizz line up minus the old bloke) moved asses and hearts (this gig was just days after Jay Aston’s cancer diagnosis but she chose to appear and rocked her backside off...kudos). Who have I missed? Ah yes, Kim Appleby, someone else whose life was sadly touched by cancer when she lost her sister Mel back in 1990 at the age of just 23. Barring the odd release Kim’s been away from the music biz since her solo career fizzled out in the mid 90s which is a real shame judging by today’s utterly joyful set. Solo hit Don’t Worry still sounds great and after the duo’s biggest single Respectable (number one in at least 8 countries back in ‘87) she touchingly raised a single finger to her lips and then heaven in tribute to her little sis. A more than respectable comeback all round.

Black Lace came on and did what they do whilst we hid behind a tree before one of the biggest voices in pop, Heather Small BELTED her way through M People’s singles. Sadly I can’t listen to her now with picturing the short one in Miranda screaming “What have you done today to make you feel prouuuuud”, but it was nice to hear the pop housey One Night In Heaven again. Making our way back towards the stage we bumped into a lovely pair of ladies who insisted on glittering me up during Midge Ure’s set. He may have been dancing with tears in his eyes but I had glitter in mine. I’d read some disparaging remarks about Ure’s live vocals online but ignore them, he still sounds great especially on arguably the greatest number one that never was, Vienna. Maybe next year Let’s Rock should invite Joe Dolce eh? Hmmmm.  

What can I say about the next artist? I’ve been a ‘proper’ fan of Marc Almond for a good 35 years now and I’ve seen him live oodles of times. I struggled for a while to reconcile the artist who’d taken such huge risks in his career (calling an album Mother Fist and her Five Daughters, recording an album in Russian, making a video with a real life sex dwarf...I could go on) with the one who leads sing-alongs of Soft Cell songs at festivals like this but if he’s comfortable with it then so I am. And why shouldn’t he be eh? Today’s set was, judging by the comments on Facebook, one of the best received of the day and although I’m clearly biased I’d have to agree. From opening number Tears Run Rings through to set closer, a glamtastic cover of Bolan’s Hot Love, Almond’s show was a master class in festival crowd pleasing...actually no, make that delighting. Is Almond the Bowie for my generation? Experimental but capable of delivering perfect pop, a great live performer, keeps his personal life to himself, appreciated more and more the longer he’s amongst us...hmmm...could be? To borrow a title from one of his lesser known solo albums, he really is a Fantastic Star.

If I had to pick another favourite band from the 80s (aside from Soft Cell that is) then ABC would well and truly be in the top 5 and Martin Fry’s recent-ish return to epic live performances (full orchestras, more strings than a mobile phone contract) is a ruddy wonderful thing. Look Of Love, Poison Arrow, When Smokey Sings, (How To Be A) Millionaire (incredibly this track didn’t even make the top 40 back in ’84) and bringing things right up to date with 2016’s Viva we know what ABC stands for...Absolutely Brilliant Concert.

Was Nick Heyward up next? I genuinely can’t remember. As I’ve said before it was sunny, there was cider...the dog ate my homework. Maybe he was. Anyway, whenever he played the former Haircut 100 frontman still looks about 26 damn him. The Haircuts were briefly a brass powered behemoth of 80s pop and today’s set might have benefitted from more live players but I’m guessing the economics of such things are tough these days. It’s a minor quibble and Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl) and Love Plus One were a crucial ingredient in making this a...cheesy link ahoy...oh come has to be done...Fantastic Day. See what I did there? Oh. Alright.

Nearly there. Just two more acts to go. First off Sister Sledge, now down to just two Sledge sisters following the sad passing of Joni last year. Cop a load of these hits, We Are Family, The Greatest Dancer, Lost In Music...if there’s a Studio 54 in heaven Sister Sledge are pretty much guaranteed to be found in the VIP lounge sipping Babycham. Readers I danced my ass clean off.

Having been on my feet for roughly 14 hours already OMD needed to be pretty damn good to keep me going and the fact that I spent most of Sunday in bed nursing various aches and pains tells me that they were. By their own admission the band took themselves a bit seriously back in the day but now, older and wiser, they seem much happier up there, even lending a little lightness to one of the darkest pop songs in history, Enola Gay (about the bombing of Hiroshima back in don’t get that from Little Mix do you eh?).  Of course there’s a lot more to OMD than songs about nuclear annihilation and this evening the synth pop holy trinity of Electricity, Joan Of Arc (Maid Of Orleans) and Locomotion served as a timely reminder for anyone who’d perhaps forgotten just how many classic singles the band produced. Lead singer Andy seemed to be enjoying himself almost as much as the audience up there, unleashing his legendary dance moves on the crowd with more than a spoonful of self deprecation. And then it was all over, bar the fireworks, 18 acts in just over 10 hours.

Suggestions for 2019? Jimi Somerville, Tom Bailey and Holly Johnson PLEASE. How about a little Five Star if they’re still kicking about too? One thing that does need tackling is the access and egress to and from the standing area if you want to get to the bar/loos. This year you risked breaking your neck if you wanted to pick your way through the chair/rug strewn ground and the narrow supposedly chair free ‘corridors’ were far too small. Personally, unless you have a disability, I’m not really sure why you’d choose to spend the entire day plonked in a chair (I saw a fair few people actually facing away from the stage too...I mean...why...bother...going?) but there we go, each to their own. other thing, we were informed by a Security Guard at the start of the day that bags (of any sort) weren’t allowed in the ‘standing area’ because they were a ‘trip hazard’. “How about if we carry them over our shoulder then?” I suggested helpfully. “Nope, not allowed” he countered. I didn’t argue with him. I ignored him but I didn’t argue with him. Now I’m all for health and safety but come on. The ground itself is a trip hazard. So are peoples’ legs. And as for the perilous journey to the loos and back... Indiana Jones would think twice about attempting that one.  

Anyway, let’s end things on a positive note. I saw no trouble at all, there were plenty of loos (unlike in 2016 when they seemingly forgot that men existed) and for £30 if you’re a fan of 80s pop you’d have to hop into a DeLorean and travel back to 1984 to have this much fun for so little.  

Friday, June 29, 2018

For those about to Let's Rock

Almost time for Let's Rock Exeter, another winningly random selection of the good, the bad and the 'what the ruddy hell are they doing on the bill' from the 80s. There are some personal favourites in the line up this year, notably Marc Almond, ABC, Sister Sledge and Fuzzbox (technically more of a 90s band but we'll let it slide), Mrs B's looking forward to OMD and if Nick Heywood can pull of the Haircut 100 stuff on his lonesome that should be good too. Of course it's a cheesy as a cheeseburger with the burger and bun replaced by cheese...with a little extra cheese on top for good measure, but what the hell. I'm secretly craving some sweaty Hi-NRG from Hazell Dean, altogether " Searchin', lookin' for looooooooove". I know, have no shame.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Whatever happened to...Guillemots?

Just heard a track by Guillemots on 6 Music and wondered whatever happened to them? Old man Maconie said he'd heard from Fyfe recently who said new music was in the offing but I can't find any confirmation of this online. It's been 6 years since the last album so I can only assume Mr Dangerfield's working on something suitably ruddy epic. Just in case you missed Guillemots first time round (or have forgotten all about them...and let's face it there's a lot of distracting crap around right the Government's new 'over 40's tax'...sod right off) here are three more of their best:

PS: If Fyfe would like to update the world on his plans he's more than welcome to pop in a comment below. Cheers!

PPS: I once lent him a pen you know. Twice in fact. Now there's a claim to fame. Where's my star on Broad Street eh?

Thursday, June 21, 2018

It was 23 years ago today...

Well, almost 23 years ago today. Yes, way back in 1995 I went to my first ever music festival and started with the granddaddy of them all, Glastonbury. Coincidentally Glasto and I are the same age, although Glasto's probably in better shape than me.

My memories of the whole thing are a little hazy but I remember we were hopelessly ill prepared for it (well, we didn't buy our tickets from HMV in Brum until a week or two beforehand...yes, really). We hardly took any booze (fail), food (fail), money (mega fail...this was in the days before mobile cash points) and 1995 was hot, hot, hot.

We didn't even take any roll mats so slept on the rock hard ground. I've still got the bruises to prove it. Remarkably (I say remarkably as 'smart' phones hadn't been invented...imagine that eh kids?) there are a few homemade films of Glasto 95 on You Tube and it looks like a different world (mainly due to the absence of the aforementioned 'smart' phones that seem, along with the internet, to have sucked much of the living in the moment fun out of the world in my humble opinion). Here's a delightfully 'old skool' Super 8 film of a bunch of lads from Caversham. I love the caption at the end, 80,000 people attended and tickets were £65. Good grief. I bet you couldn't get an organic emu burger for that these days. 

Oh yes, who did we see. Good point. Well we certainly saw Pulp, Dodgy, Jamiroquai, Supergrass, Billy Bragg. I have vague memories of watching at least some of Jeff Buckley's set and seeing Captain Sensible in a tent up in the Green Fields. We watched a lot of circus stuff, a little comedy...did we see the legendary Malcolm Hardee?...hmmmm, maybe. I'm ashamed to say that we were so battered and broke by the whole experience that we came home on the Sunday evening but valuable lessons had been learnt and when we do make it along to a festival these days we take enough food and drink to keep a small army satisfied for a week. And wet wipes. ALWAYS take wet wipes.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Assist - All That I Need

How's this for an existential banger eh? Walsall's very own The Assist are back with the kind of track that's practically screaming out to be played in front of millions of festival goers all hugging each other, mashed off their tits on cider and William Hague's private stash. Sounds like a good night out to me.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

David Bowie - Little Wonder

I was reading an article about underappreciated albums in some magazine the other night and Bowie's Earthling cropped up. To be honest most of Bowie's stuff from the late 80s until his final two releases isn't really played much these days which is a bit of a shame. On the one hand stuff like Little Wonder sounds a little dated now (Drum 'n' Bass-tastic) but on the other I remember how much it annoyed some of the old Bowie purists when it came out which, I guess, was one of the reasons why he did it. Whatever his motivation it's not a bad track. If 90s Bowie floats yer boat check out Jump from another underrated album, Black Tie White Noise too, a mere 25 years old this year. Good grief. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

They think it's all over...if only.

Oh good grief. It's started. Six ruddy weeks of football. I'm not a fan of sports, watching or participating, so things like the World Cup leave me pretty cold. I'll watch the odd England game though, just in the vague hope that the team doesn't totally humiliate the entire country. But in the 48 years I've been on planet Earth they've pretty much been consistently hopeless. Still, football's inspired a few half decent songs so I'm prepared to embrace it...just for today (NB: Okay, I'm pretty sure A Tribe Called Quest weren't inspired by the 'beautiful game' but this track sort of fits). 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

CD or nor CD...that is the question

We’ve had the vinyl revival, we’ve had the tape revival but will there ever be a revival in CD’s fortunes eh? If you frequent charity shops as much as I do you’ll have seen the prices of CDs plummet in recent years. Just a couple of weeks ago I picked up three decent double disc compilation albums and a single disc compilation for a quid. That’s SEVEN CDs for a pound. Nuts eh? Okay that may be fairly unusual but it’s not hard to find CDs for a 50p or £1 each, sometimes they’re pretty recent too (I’m guessing someone buys them, loads the music onto a digital music player and then dumps the physical version?). Compared to most digital downloads the sound quality of a CD’s vastly superior and, although it lacks the warmth of vinyl, let’s be honest it also lacks the snap, crackle and pop too. 

Of course there’s still nothing like the ceremony of slipping an LP or single out of its sleeve, gently placing it on the turntable and delicately lowering the needle onto the record but popping a CD out of its case and onto the little plastic tray at least involves some kind of interaction between you and the music plus you’ a cute little booklet to read and a plastic case to pop your drink on too. Awwww bless. 

The collectors’ market for CDs is surely set to explode soon, especially as most of the CD singles sold in the 90s are probably now residing in a hole in the ground somewhere, and yet those little silver discs that just a few short years ago were...whooooooo...‘the future’ are now just about as popular as syphilis. I don’t get it but equally I don’t particularly care. I’m currently filling my boots with bags and bags of cut price music and doing my little bit for ‘charidee’ along the way. Result.

PS: If you’re wondering why there's a video for Bikini Kill's classic Rebel Girl track above this gibberish it's because I picked up a copy of the band's 'The C.D. Version of the First Two Records' from British Heart Foundations' Exeter Branch for 99p on Saturday, along with similarly bargain priced Bad Brains and Babes In Toyland albums. 

PPS: The CD revival start here. Possibly. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Babysnakes - The Reluctant Traveller...coming soon to Snooky Fest!

Can't believe it's just over a month until Snooky Fest (huge congratulations to Snooky Fest's Caz Steffans on her British Empire Medal in the recent Queen's Birthday Honours List 2018 by the way). Tickets are flying out like seagulls after a pasty so grab one while you still can (a ticket that is...not a seagull...) right here. Just like last year there's a great mix of bands, the sunshine's guaranteed (honest) and they'll be enough cider to keep me happy (that'll be about three pints these days...lightweight...still, I'm a cheap date). Here's a little Snooky Fest promo to get you in the mood.

Friday, June 08, 2018

Chungking - Making Music

No Friday banger this week, more of a Friday chill out courtesy of Chungking and their criminally underrated classic Making Music. Why this wasn't a massive hit is beyond me. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Olivia Midnight (Kids Interview Bands) RIP

I never met Olivia, one of the original Kids Interview Bands interviewers, but I spent many a happy hour watching the interviews they did with bands great and small. So when I logged onto Facebook this morning and saw that she'd suddenly passed away (I'm guessing she was just 17 or 18) I was...well...words fail me. I can't begin to imagine what her family's going through right now but if there's any crumb of comfort to come out of this then it's the fact that she did a hell of a lot more in her all too brief life than most people her age...or any age for that matter. RIP Olivia. 

PS: You can check out all of Olivia's (and her co-interviewer Connie's...and Piper, Olivia's younger sister and current Kids Interview Bands interviewer) interviews right here.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Queen - I'm Going Slightly Mad

For various reasons this track's buzzing around my befuddled brain right now. Queen's later work rarely gets played these days which is a bit of a shame as it's fascinating stuff, albeit tinged with the sad fact that dear old Freddie knew his days were numbered. This vid's pretty uncomfortable to watch at times but then again he clearly loved what he was doing even as AIDS was sucking the very life out of him so let's not get too maudlin eh?

Friday, June 01, 2018

Jobriath - Amazing Dope Tales

How did I miss a whole album of unreleased Jobriath tracks coming out back in 2014? I blame old age. Anyway this is a 100% bone fide glam rock classic. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Tower of Power - You've Got To Funkifize

Came across a lovely slice of vintage James Brown style funk courtesy of the mighty Tower Of Power whilst trawling through some of the squillion albums I've somehow accumulated over the past...good grief...38 or so years of collecting. Play it loud and get yo' funk on!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Panatical - Get Lucky

For various reasons I don't get to see much live music at the moment so when I heard the distant sound of a steel drum version of Daft Punk's Get Lucky drifting over the garden wall at Baron Towers I had to go and investigate. It turns out it was a school band called Panatical from Hampshire who've played, amongst other places, the Albert Hall, Radio 2 and Chris Evans' Car Fest thingy. They went on to play a dizzying array of tracks for almost three hours (all from memory I hasten to add) and were ruddy brilliant. A huge slap on the back for whoever booked them to play Dawlish Artsfest this year.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Parquet Courts - Wide Awake

Here's one for the file marked 'Great singles by a band I've never had any interest in before and quite possibly won't again'. It's a bit post punk / no wavey and will no doubt get used to advertise something unspeakable awful like the new i-Phone but there we go, welcome to the 21st century.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Hot Hot Heat - Bandages's almost hot today. What's going on eh? Anyone would think it was summer. Shhhhh don't tell anyone. Anyway, today's blast from the past comes from the suitably named Hot Hot Heat who were ruddy great when I saw them a mere 15 years ago. Sadly they packed it in back in 2016 but we'll always have 'bag of jizz' to remember them by...

Friday, May 18, 2018

Soft Cell - L'Esqualita

No idea why this track popped into my head wandering the beaches of Dawlish this morning but who knows how the human mind - especially mine - works eh? This is especially for anyone out there who thinks that Soft Cell only ever did Tainted Love. It's a little different n'est ce pas?

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Gwenno - Eus Keus

It's still pretty rare to hear a track sung in anything but English on the radio these days so gwrys yn ta to Gwenno and 6Music for giving the Kerneweck language a chance. I particularly love the fact that the track translates as 'Is there cheese' and apparently a t-shirt bearing the legend 'Eus Keus' is quite the fashion item amongst those in the know. 

Old buggers like me may well remember Gwenno from her Pipette days. Here she is pulling shapes...

Friday, May 11, 2018

Cornershop - Brimful of Asha (DJ Ivan Scratchin' Remix)

Itttttttttttttttttttttttttt's Friday. And what better way to celebrate than an ever so slightly cheesy (or maybe that should be paneery) mix of Cornerhop's seminal classic Brimful of Asha eh? Another Friday banger to dance around in yer pants to.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Michael Jablonka - Flump

After yesterday's excursion into glossy 80s jazz pop here's something a lot rawer (and newer), Michael Jablonka's latest release, Flump, a kind of  rocky/bluesy bastard grandson of Hendrix and Nirvana with a little added glam for good measure. Play it LOUD!

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Julia Fordham - Where Does The Time Go?

You can say that again Julia. Not only are we almost half way through 2018 but at 48 the chances are I'm considerably well over half way through this thing called L - I - F - E too. Ah well, whattya gonna do eh? Fegeddaboutit.

Back in 1988 I had a bit of a thing for Julia Fordham. Okay so her music may well have soundtracked a million yuppie (remember them?) dinner parties but I'm a sucker for glossily produced jazz tinged beauties like this one.

Oh go on then, let's have a little Happy Ever After too, a massive number 27 smash hit back in the day.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Sunflower Bean - Twentytwo

It's been some considerable time since I was 22, 26 years on Monday in fact (yes, it's my 48th, rum, warped vinyl all gratefully received). Good grief. But I'm still loving the new single from Sunflower Bean, one of those bands whose singles I've pretty much all loved but whose name somehow slips my mind whenever anyone asks me what I'm listening to these days. That's old age for you.

I wasn't a huge fan of my 20s or 30s. Bloody hard work and a whole lifetime of slog stretching out ahead of you. Of course it's a lot worse for the poor sods who are in their 20s these days. A pension age that's likely to exceed your life expectancy, house prices beyond the reach of most and rising rents that suck up pretty much every penny you earn, especially if you've got one of those lovely 'zero hours contracts'. Oh happy days. Youth isn't so much wasted on the young these days but imposed on the unlucky buggers.

Maybe that's why so much new music these days is either pretty low key and reflective (see the Sunflower Bean track above for instance) or an escapist piece of auto tuned fluff that always seems to 'feature' some bloke who wanders on and raps badly (also known as doing a Sean Paul). By contrast my 40s haven't been too bad. Okay there have been one or two hiccups along the way but I spent a good 5 years of my 40s going to more gigs, shows and festivals than I had hot dinners and I'll either fall off my perch at some stage in the next 20 years or slip into a retirement and take up position at Ye Old Cider Bar. Result! Anyway, that's enough reflection for one year, here are a few more Sunflower Bean's classics...

Monday, April 30, 2018

Gallows - Orchestra of Wolves

Trawling through an old hard drive the other week I came across some gig photos that I took years and years ago with the cheapest digital camera in the world. Unsurprisingly most of the shots looked like a dog's dinner but occasionally one or two wouldn't turn out half bad, like the shot above from Gallows Bar Academy gig waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in 2007. Now that was a gig. Remember this one?

Thursday, April 26, 2018

White Witches - This Song Will Kill You

Sparks meets Steve Harley in a lock up garage just on the outskirts on Brighton, that's as good a description as I can come up for White Witches' new song taken from their even newer album Heironymus Anonymous, available to order right here right now. If the lead singer sounds familiar you may remember him from his days in the legendary Pink Grease. Here's a little reminder...awesome stuff. 

Monday, April 23, 2018

Mattiel - Count Your Blessings

It's Monday! Er...hurrah! Here's a nice little earworm that's currently going round and round in what's left of my brain. I don't know a huge amount about Mattiel but this track's got a lovely 60s-ish feel, shades of Nancy Sinatra at her Bang Bang best perhaps? Enjoy!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

New beginnings for The Day this Saturday!

With a set that promises 19...count 'em...19!!!! songs...a new bass amp and a band that's "clean shaven (everywhere)"...ahem...The Day Ends play live this Saturday at The Station in Kings Heath. And it's only bloody free too! Get in there.

Here's an oldie but a goody to get you in the mood.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Pete Williams @ The Rep Studio, Saturday April 14th 2018

Me? At a real live gig? Yep, that actually happened. In fact I even managed a freebie jazz gig (Ric Yarborough) at The Symphony Hall on Friday evening too. Niiiiiiiiiiiice.

It was all thanks to a brief return trip to my old home city of Brumingham and blimey...hasn't the place changed. The new/old library (depending on your age) has gone and is being replaced by one of the most boring building ever constructed but Grand Central (aka New Street) is a vast improvement though and generally, two and a half years after I was last there, Brum looked/seemed like a city on the up.

Speaking of being on the up tonight Pete Williams and band were better than ever with a set that mixed old favourites with tantalising slices of musical magic from the new album (due out in June apparently). As I've pretty much given up reviewing gigs for now I didn't bother taking any notes but one track in particular, which may have been called Twice Around the Bend, stood out as an absolute belter.

I've long since given up trying to figure out how/why some artists end up playing stadiums whilst others are lucky to fill a small toilet cubical (not that The Rep Studio falls into that category, au contraire, it's a decent sized venue that seemed to be pretty much sold out this evening) but if anyone deserves a big break I can't think of a better bloke than Pete Williams to get it.

PS: You can watch a vid of one of the set's highlights right here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Pete Williams! Live! This Saturday!

Attention Midlands based friends, the wonderful Mr Pete Williams is playing at The Rep Studio this Saturday evening April 14th and unveiling new songs - like this little beauty - from his forthcoming album. Tickets are a mere £15 right here right now but best get in quick!

Monday, April 09, 2018

Sparks - Wonder Girl

Currently reading a fine biog of Sparks, Talent Is An Asset, which prompted me to go snuffling about the darkest corners of the internet...that'll be You Tube then...for some early footage of the band. I found this little clip. If you thought Ron Mael looked scary during their mid 70's prime cop a load of his look here. Quite what the German public made of a man with a Hitler moustache, long curly hair and eye liner glaring at them through the TV screen I'd love to know. Freeze the vid at 27 seconds in for the full effect.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Love Gotten - Bokito

Wild Beasts may be dead and buried but if you like a little nuts in a nutcracker high voiced tropically tinged loveliness cop a listen to Love Gotten by BOKITO. It's enough to make you think summer's just around the corner...that's a hint if you're reading this 'mother nature'...I think we've all had enough of your Beasts From The Easts, Pests From The Wests and Complete And Utter Bastards From the Norths to last us a lifetime don't you?

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Snooky Fest 2018!

Chuffed to see that Snooky Fest is back on Saturday July 14th for a second year after a hugely impressive debut and early bird tickets are on sale right now for a frankly bargaintastic £15. The line up's still to be announced but a top notch and varied bill's pretty much 100% guaranteed. Here's a quick highlight from last year's Snooky Fest...

And don't forget that Snooky Fest exists to raise money to help 18-40 year olds with any form of physical illness in Dawlish and Devon so it's a ruddy great cause too! Get in there.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Vitamin C - Can

Well, it is from the album EGE Bamyasi...EGE...EGGY...EASTER...geddit? Oh well, nevermind.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Cosmo Sheldrake - Come Along

Heard this chap on Cerys' show on 6Music a couple of weeks ago and meant to post it last week but, ya know, time and stuff. It's a jaunty little number, slight echoes of Momus perhaps, accompanied by a truly disturbing vid. Best not to watch it before lunch. Or after lunch. Or  if you're ever planning to eat again for that matter. Still, a great track!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Easy Rippin - The Day Ends

"EASY RIPPIN" by THE DAY ENDS from The Day Ends on Vimeo.

Chuffed sideways to hear a new track from The Day, scratch that, not just a new track but a whole new genre...Post Blues Psych Punk. And you lucky Midlands based peeps have a chance to see it played live (possibly, Miles Perhower might well have write an entirely new set over the next few days) this weekend in yet another cracking edition of Sunday Xpress. Get stuck in ya muthas.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Fearless Flyers - Ace Of Aces

How funking funky is this? Funking funky that's how funky it is. Funk me. And how come I've not heard of Cory Wong before? Funking ridiculous.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Quantic & Alice Russell with the Combo Barbaro - Look Around The Corner

Heard this again for the first time in ages on the ever reliable 6 Music yesterday and thought it deserved a quick post, especially as we could all do with its distinctly summertime vibe over the weekend when we're apparently going to be blasted by the ruddy 'beast from the east' once more. Bugger me the shops round here still haven't recovered from the last lot yet.

PS: Is it just me or does this track have a bit of a Les Fleur vibe? 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

AKA George - Manic Machine

AKA George (aka the artist formerly known as George Barnett) is back, back, back with a brand new single and, well, it's a bit of an (Ed) banger (see what I did alright then). I think there's a rude word at 1 minute 22 seconds so you may not want to blast it out at work or in front of the Vicar...but fuck it, who gives a fuck eh? Clearly not the sweet little old lady in the video...

Friday, March 09, 2018

Can't stop the weekend...

After last week's apocalyptic weather I'm looking forward to getting out and about this weekend so here's a little blast of Red Hot Chili Peppers to kick things off. I lost count of the number of times I listened to this track when I was working in an office in the 'glamorous' world of advertising back in the noughties but I'm guessing it's in four figures at the very least. And I still love it. "This life is more than just a read through". Wise words. Mine's a pint of Hogfather.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018


It's been a long time coming sadly but today whichever global mega corporation owns the tattered remains of the NME has announced that it's to stop printing any more copies after this week's issue, effectively ending 66 years of music history.

I bought and read the NME for years, decades even. I stopped after one of the many tiresome relaunches but still flicked through copies in WHSmith from time to time, which took all of three minutes. And that was the problem. There was bugger all in there for the £2 or whatever it was they wanted you to part with every week.

I stated reading it again when it became free though and occasionally picked up some decent new music tips from it, even if it meant ploughing through 20 pages of 'advertising promotions in association with VO5'. I know we're all supposed to believe that 'print' is dead but there's still something sad about knowing that bands in the future won't be able to see themselves on NME's hallowed pages.

In the words of Ash's new single - a band who appeared on the cover of NME on more than one occasion - what a buzz kill eh?

Friday, March 02, 2018

Rumba De Bodas - Freaky Funky

It's Freaky Funky Friday people! And thank Freaky Funky for that eh? If you're UK based the chances are you've just endured some of the shittiest March weather in anticipation of the temperature climbing to a sizzling 5 degrees centigrade this weekend dance around in yer pants to the brand new one from Bologna's best, Rumba De Bodas. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Table Scraps - I'm A Failure

A nice slice of slacker garage grunge to warm the cockles of whichever part of your anatomy might be frozen from Brum's very own Table Scraps! Right now I'm a failure at keeping frickin' warm...hmmmm...maybe I should slam dance the walls to this track? Hold on...yep...that helped...much warmer...a broken shoulder but at least it's a warm broken shoulder.

PS: Table Scrap's new album Autonomy is out now on Zen Ten Records baby.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Bleeder - Balaban and the Bald Illeagles

On the off chance that you've not frozen completely solid here's a spanking new track from Balaban and the Bald Illeagles. It's billed by the band as a bit of a mash up between Joy Division and REM...and when bands say that it usually sounds bugger all like anything of the sort...but blow me backwards (blow me any way you want actually, I'm easy) it really does has a bit of a Love Will Tear Us Apart meets Shiny Happy People vibe. Nice one!

PS: Never has a band made a lyric like "Let the demons devour you whole' sound so ruddy appealing. La di dah lah di dah lah di dahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...

Friday, February 23, 2018

Sunflower Bean - Crisis Fest

Watched a few minutes of The Brits this week. Lord help us all. I know it's not aimed at people of 'my age' but please, do the world a favour and stop churning out this tripe. I'm talking about the show and a lot of the music too by the way. Embarrassing. Thankfully there's plenty of good music still being made, like this little glam pop punk beauty from Sunflower Bean. Enjoy!

PS: Quite partial to The Orielles at the moment too...

PPS: Hookworms too...

PPPS: Oh hell, just listen to 6 Music and be done with it.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Psychic TV - I.C Water

How this passed me by I don't know but I've just discovered that one of my personal heroes/heroines Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, lead singer and one of the creative forces behind Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, is suffering from chronic leukaemia. I had the very great pleasure of meeting them back in Brum and, although they're unlikely to ever read this, I just wanted to send some positive vibes their way. All the very best Gen. x

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Kate Bush - Moments of Pleasure

This might not be one of Bush's best known tracks but it's arguably one of her best. It's very easy in life to focus on the crap stuff, after all there's plenty of it, but just taking time to...yes...enjoy the odd moment of pleasure is pretty much what it's all about when you think about it. Press play, shut your eyes and enjoy 6 minutes and 39 seconds of pure bliss.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Another one bites the dust...just 4 more months of The Flapper

Well, the writing's been on the wall for a while now (and I don't just mean in the men's loos) but very sadly The Flapper's confirmed that it's closing in June to make way for yet more oh so vital apartments that some investor on the other side of the world will no doubt snap up and then leave empty for 20 years. Oh what a jolly wheeze eh? This shit's going on all over the place right now and I suspect that within the next 10 years most of the remaining small to medium sized independent music venues will have gone the same way.

I can't begin to count the number of great gigs I saw at The Flapper (and Firkin)...Add N to X, Bis, Editors, Catatonia, Idlewild (on the first night of their very first national tour...they rang Steve Lamacq live on Radio One from a payphone nearby...yes, it was THAT long ago), Acid Mothers Temple, Misty's Big Adventure (I first discovered them there...back in 2000?), Arab Strap, The Computers, Doll and the Kicks, Everything Everything, Miles Hunt, Dodgy, O Children, Off The Cuff Festivals...but the place has been hosting live music since 1969 so lord knows how many bands got their big break there too.

They say you can't halt progress but what kind of progress is this eh? Nowhere for new bands and artists to play live means, well, no more great new live bands. Welcome to the future people. A world where 'acts' are manufactured in a lab by HUGE corporations, fans sucked in and brainwashed via the internet and then the whole thing rolled straight out into MASSIVE venues owned by...oh yes... the HUGE corporations who'll charge you £75 for a seat...a fucking a fucking gig...half a mile from the stage.

And where are soundmen/women and new promoters supposed to cut their teeth eh? Budding gig photographers and reviewers? With an ever decreasing network of small to medium sized venues across the UK how many bands will be able to scrape a living together an afford to put on a tour? I could bang on and on about this but I'm guessing if you're reading this you're on the same age. For now though if you've ever been to The Flapper as a performer, punter or drinker let's celebrate what it meant and mourn the loss of yet another chunk of Brum's musical past, present and, perhaps most sadly of all, future.

PS: I picked the vid to accompany this piece partly because it was filmed in The Flapper, partly because I love Misty's and...well partly because if Birmingham City Council doesn't start doing some 'wising up' of its own all that will be left of the City's nightlife will be the bloody nightclubs of Broad Street. God help us all.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Day Ends need you!

As part of their ongoing mission to bring their particular brand of musical magic / madness / mayhem / mayonnaise to the wider world The Day Ends are planning to remove the safety nets altogether and start live streaming all kinds of freaky shit via You Tube. Sadly Mr Tube requires that before they can do this they need a minimum number of subscribers. That's where you come in. Just click on this link, hit subscribe and bathe in the warm glow of knowing you might well be giving the world the musical enema it needs right now.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Youth Man - I Don't Know

Now signed to Alcopop! Records and with a tour in the offing Youth Man are back with a brand new track that's quite possibly the best thing they've ever done. No, scratch that, it IS the best thing they've ever done. With an intro that nods back to the very best of Television and Wire the song's chorus blends a surprisingly harmonious backing vocal with lead singer Kaila Whyte trademark primal scream to create something that'll make your ears melt into a sticky puddle round yer feet. Find me a better new release this month and I'll eat Donald Trump's toupee. 

You can listen to I Don't Know right here...I did try to embed the song on this post Don't Know how to...spooky eh?

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Go-Kart Mozart - When You're Depressed

I've been trying to find a version of Go-Kart Mozart's latest track Relative Poverty that I can stick up here but without success so let's plump for last year's When You're Depressed instead. Apparently, according to Go-Kart Mozart's record label Cherry Red, 2018's the year of Lawrence (the band's cult lead singer, who also fronted Felt and Denim dontcha know). Let's hope it is, the world could do with a little more Lawrence and lord knows the poor bloke deserves his day in the sun...heck he's been wearing those shades in preparation for long enough...almost 40 years in fact. No wonder he's depressed. 

Monday, February 05, 2018

Somewhere it's over for The Rainbow...

This has been rumbling on for a while now but if The Rainbow Venues in Digbeth do remain closed after the revocation of its licence/s it will be one of the most short sighted decisions Birmingham City Council will have ever made...and bear in mind this is a Council that paid its female employees less money than its male employees for years eventually landing itself with a £750million bill. Genius.

Of course it's very sad that a couple of people lost their lives at The Rainbow Venues through drugs but very sadly people lose their lives through all kinds of reckless behaviour on a daily basis. I mean every year numerous individuals pop their clogs during marathons...and we going to ban these now? How many people die on the roads ever year? Hey, let's ban cars too. In fact the outside world's a pretty dangerous place...let's force everyone to stay indoors, that'll keep the death rate long as no one tries to do any DIY. Deadly that is. 

I don't live in Brum any more but I still care about what happens to the place that I had the pleasure to call home for almost half a century. Shutting down somewhere that gave many thousands of people pleasure, employed hundreds and enriched Brum's cultural scene no end is utterly senseless. Unless of course the land's being eyed up by developers who want to build more flats. Cynical? Me? Hmmmm.
Anyway, a website's been set up to try to overturn this ridiculous decision so head on over to and show them some love.

PS: Not sure if Floorplan's ever played The Rainbow Venues but I really don't need an excuse to stick this track up. Proof that the devil doesn't always have the best tunes.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

XTC...that was pop

Finally got round to watching the XTC doc This Is Pop last week, well worth your time if you've got an hour or two to spare. If it weren't for Andy Partridge's must publicised meltdown (caused when a well meaning girlfriend flushed his valium down the you do) who knows how big they'd have been but my money's on a REM level of fame and fortune. As it is they remain something of a cult act which, given their run of awesome singles in the late 70s and throughout the 80s, is nothing short of an international disgrace.  I can't imagine that anyone reading this isn't familiar with the band's output but just in case cop a load of these beauties...

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Ezra Furman - Suck The Blood From My Wound

Like MGMT's Time To Pretend's twisted sister Ezra Furman's latest, the radio friendly (ahem) Suck The Blood From My Wound is, well, bloody brilliant. I was lucky enough to see him live a couple of years back (yes, I know, me at a live gig...) and he's the kind of gutsy, give it 100%, get it all out there artist that the world's quite frankly crying out for these days. There's a touch of Springsteen about him, albeit a Springsteen in a bit of lippie and a feather boa, and it's not difficult to imagine him playing a ruddy great stadium one day. Oh alright then, maybe not, but we can all live in hope eh?

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Mark E Smith RIP

There will be lots written about the legendary front man of The Fall over the coming hours, days and weeks (there already has been) by people far more eloquent and knowledgeable than me (not difficult I'll grant you). Of course his death wasn't unexpected. Increasingly frail he'd been forced to cancel a number of shows recently but somehow you hoped that Mr G. Reaper Esq. would simply give up and walk away leaving Smith to carry on ranting and raving until the end of time.

Sadly it's not to be but his passing is something that should be celebrated not mourned. I never met him but I saw The Fall on three separate occasions, in the 90s, noughties and 10s, I bought a lot of the albums and lapped up any interview I could find with the man. Whilst you might not have agreed with everything he said he was totally true to himself throughout his 40+ year career and absolutely, resolutely refused to suck up to anyone, fans or enemies alike. In fact often the more people gushed over him the more cantankerous he was with them.

Clearly he lived life exactly the way he wanted to off stage as well, drinking, smoking, shagging (presumably...although the first two might well have interfered with the last one) and in this increasingly PC, health obsessed, fun fearing world he was like a breath of fresh...okay, maybe not fresh but you get my drift...air. We really will never see his like again. Of course I've not even mentioned the music yet. Confrontational, bizarre, unique, cult listening that somehow remained surprisingly listenable to, at least to my gig damaged ears.

And, no matter what the line up (The Fall ploughed through over 60 members), it always, always sounded like The Fall. RIP Mr Smith. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Billy Joel - Scandinavian Skies

Depending on your age the chances are that you'll know Billy Joel for one of three tracks, Piano Man, Uptown Girl or We Didn't Start The Fire, but you might not be familiar with the distinctly Magical Mystery Tour era Beatles-ish Scandinavian Skies. I've only got it on CD (remember them?) but I can imagine it'd sound particularly mind melting on vinyl. Oh well, there's another good excuse to trawl a few more record fairs this year.