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...