Friday, May 24, 2019
Sad news reaches the Aid this week with the passing of Alabama 3's Dr D. Wayne Love and Brum musical stalwart Simon Maragh. I had the great pleasure of seeing Simon many times in many different bands over the years (including Betty and the Id, see below) and, on top of putting on a bostin show, Dr D. Wayne Love very kindly gave me a can of lukewarm but much needed lager at Glastonbury way back in the 90s. RIP chaps.
Thursday, May 23, 2019
I was going to keep this behind for the Friday banger but sod it, I can't wait. Coming off as a cross between Franz Ferdinand, The Hives, Eagles of Death Metal, Queen and even a little Duran Duran (dig that sax man) this track's quite possibly the best thing to have come out of Sweden since...well...ever. And given that Sweden's got a bit of a rep for the odd decent band or two that's really saying something. Genius.
Monday, May 20, 2019
I'm guessing for a lot of people Dodgy will forever be associated with the perky pop of Staying Out For The Summer but dig into the albums and you'll find gems like this. We gave Homegrown (25 years young this year) a spin last night for the first time in ages and the epicness (is that a word? it is now) of Grassman knocked my slippers off. Enjoy!
Friday, May 17, 2019
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
That Marc Riley chap on 6 Music's been playing this a lot and I keep forgetting the name of the band so I'm sticking it up here as much for me as you...cos it's ace. Pom Poko are Norwegian apparently, yes, Norway...home of nil points...well it used to be until the UK became pretty much universally despised by our European chums now it's our turn. Mind you what decent music's ever come out of the UK eh...?
If My Blood's a bit twee for you cop a load of this track and vid, that'll sort you out.
Monday, May 13, 2019
As a fan of the Hot 8 Brass Band I was intrigued to come across a CD from an outfit called The Dirty Dozen Brass Band who seemed to offer a similarly funky take on all things brass a full 6 years before the Hot 8 blew their first tune. After a little digging I discovered that they'd actually been funking things up since 1977, surely making them Hot 8 Brass Bands spiritual grandpas. Here's just one track from The New Orleans album which can probably pick up from eBay for a couple of quid (yep, just checked...it can). Enjoy!
PS: Ever heard Hot 8 Brass Band's awesome cover of Love Will Tear Us Apart? Voila...
Thursday, May 09, 2019
Picked up a copy of a rare 7 inch by The Blockheads (minus Ian Dury) from the splendid Sound Preservation Society Records in Teignmouth on Tuesday (my birthday by the way...thank you very much for asking...yes I did) featuring this little gem (shades of Talking Heads perhaps?) on the B side. I'd never heard it before but it's a beaut right?
Friday, May 03, 2019
Good grief, it's 30 ruddy years since The Stone Roses released their debut album...The Stone Roses. See what they did there? I was just about to turn 19 when it came out (yes...I really am that old) and was starting to listen to more dance oriented stuff like A Guy Called Gerald's classic Voodoo Ray, which is as good an excuse as any to dig out his Fools Gold remix. Actually let's have a little Voodoo Ray too eh, after all it is Friday. Enjoy!
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Picked up yet another pile of cheap CDs over the weekend including an unopened copy of Red Hot Chili Peppers last album for a quid. For some reason the Chili's seem to have attracted nothing but scorn from a number of music fans and critics recently but personally I'd rate them as one of the better bands of the last 30 years or so. Still with 186 million (and counting) views of Dark Necessities (a number 72 chart smash here in the UK in 2016...WTF are you kids listening to/streaming these days..jeez) on You Tube alone I suspect Mr Kiedis and co couldn't give a damn.
PS: Seriously...how can you not rate a band that came up with this...?! Answers on a chili pepper of your choice.
Friday, April 26, 2019
Thursday, April 25, 2019
Watched the wonderful and highly recommended 'Being Frank - The Chris Sievey Story' last night, an everyday tale of a bloke who donned a paper mache head and peg on his nose, covered well known pop songs in an utterly unique way (see the evidence above) and created his own little universe that eventually landed him a TV show, record deal and slot at Reading 1992 (attended by over 10,000 fans).
Sievey, the ever so slightly tortured/unhinged genius behind Frank, started out trying to make it in the music biz in a more conventional way, fronting The Freshies, but when that didn't work out Frank was born and seemingly took over his entire life. Whilst Sievey clearly had a number of demons (drink, drugs, philandering...Little Frank) he still comes across as an incredibly likeable soul with an almost unbelievable commitment to his art. Sadly, as his 5 year comeback plan was reaching its climax in 2010, he succumbed to cancer at just 54 playing his last show as Frank a mere 10 days earlier.
It sounds like a cliche to say that we won't see his like again but in this case I'd be prepared to bet a week in Timperley on it.
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Good grief, where's the time going? Easter passed in a haze of vintage fairs and cider (oh so much cider) and now we're nudging close to May...which is practically Christmas in my book. Anyway, here's a fine slice of funk soul (or soul funk if you prefer) that pretty much sums up the state of my brain right now.
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Monday, April 15, 2019
What better way to celebrate Record Store Day than popping along to the opening of a brand new one eh? Bung in a live session from a cracking band, Moriarty, too and I'm one happy bunny.
A duo (drums and guitar) from 'the dark corners of Devon' Moriarty trade in high octane down and dirty garage blues with a side order of punk swagger that rapidly raised the temperature of Sound Preservation Society Records to near vinyl melting point. Sensing danger one of the band took the action out onto the street, quite possibly scaring the bejesus out of passing pensioners and seagulls alike. Mightily impressive squished into the confines of record shop you can see Moriarty being equally at 'holmes' (oh come on...it had to be done) on a ruddy massive festival stage and, if there's any justice in this world, that's where they'll be heading. Catch 'em somewhere sweaty and intimate while you still can.
PS: Loved the new Sound Preservation Society Records shop too.
A great selection of vinyl, neatly organised for your perusing pleasure, with some proper bargains (a copy of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band Live album for £1 anyone...oh yes) too.
Friday, April 12, 2019
Record Store Day again tomorrow and predictably there'll be queues of (mainly) middle aged men (hey, I can say that as I am one) across the country desperate to pick up that grey vinyl copy of some obscure indie track. Sadly I suspect most of the records that will be purchased tomorrow won't ever see a needle but then we're living in strange times. In celebration of the joys of actually playing the damn things though here's a neat a little northern soul mix from Andy Smith. Enjoy!
PS: Somewhat remarkably there's a NEW record shop, The Sound Preservation Society, opening just down the road from us in sunny Teignmouth. Looks pretty coolio too. I'll be popping along for a flick through their racks.
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Oh my, cop a load of this. Prince and his band du jour jamming the funk up. As some of the comments under this clip note isn't it incredible that this has had a mere 209,278 views since it was first uploaded in 2015? Well after this post I suspect it'll rise to the dizzy heights of at least 209,280.
Tuesday, April 09, 2019
Picked up a bunch of 70s 7inch singles from an antiques fair at the weekend (yes I know things from the 70s aren't strictly antiques but the antiques world is a broad church these days...) including a cool cut from Hamilton Bohannon, Cozy Powell's drum-believable Dance With The Devil and a surprisingly tuneful number from Sid James...yes...really. Eclectic? Me?
Other gems including an Ian Hunter 7 inch, some Suzi Quatro singles and picture sleeve copy of David Essex's Rock On. Not bad for just over 50p a pop eh?
Friday, April 05, 2019
I'd forgotten what a lost gem this UB40 track was but I was reminded of it when I saw the photo below of Brian Travers, UB40's irrepressible sax man, someone who's quite clearly well and truly 'singing his own song' right now.
Here he is, just 6 days after brain surgery to remove two tumours back out on the Guinness (at least I think it's Guinness). What a dude. If he should ever read this all the best Brian, although it looks like you're pretty much back up and running already. He's quoted on Facebook as saying "I’m fine..i aint surrendering just because I’ve got tumors in my head, fuck that..Die on my feet NOT live on my knees x". Amen to that. As the old Irish saying goes, 'We're here for a good time, not a long time'.
PS: Here's Brian in a video from a track on UB40's latest album For The Many too.
Tuesday, April 02, 2019
I'm not generally a fan of many remixes but this one tickled my fancy as it's doesn't funk around with the original too much whilst adding a little late 70s/early 80s synth vibe to the whole shebang. Sadly the deeply troubled Mr Hatthaway never lived to hear it after falling to his death from a hotel room over 40 years ago but I'd like to think he'd approve.
Friday, March 29, 2019
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Yet another sad passing to report, this one's a lot closer to home though. The Beat's Ranking Roger, who's passed away at just 56, lived in my old patch (Bearwood) and we'd see him round and about sometimes. He was clearly a genuinely lovely chap and the well deserved outpouring of grief from fellow Brummies and musicians speaks volumes. I last saw him performing down here at Let's Rock Exeter in 2016 and he seemed like a man in his prime. Just a few months ago his version of The Beat released a darn fine new album and an autobiography's due later this year which makes his death all the sadder. RIP Roger.
PS: It seems appropriate to use this post to wish all the very best to another Brum musical legend (and equally lovely bloke), Brian Travers, who's facing an op to remove two brain tumours tomorrow. Get well soon dude.
Monday, March 25, 2019
I have Marc Almond to thank for turning me on to Scott Walker. Back in the mid 80s when I was buying up anything Almond had recorded I picked up the first Marc and the Mambas album which included a Brel number (If You Go Away) which Walker himself memorably covered and Walker's own Big Louise (from Scott 3). Walker's trio of Scott albums (1,2 and...quelle surprise...3) are quite frankly amongst the finest recordings ever committed to vinyl and whilst he may be something of a cult figure these days (due in no small part to his unwillingness to play the fame game or record anything remotely commercial for the past 40 years or so) expect to see a thoroughly well deserved outpouring of praise / grief from many of today's more interesting artists. RIP Mr Walker.
Friday, March 22, 2019
I was never any good at Maths at school but I'm pretty sure 7 and 7 is...er...hold on...14 right? I'm equally certain that this track's an absolute belter and in the unlikely event that you've never heard it before I have very great pleasure in sticking it up here. The fact that it out punks a lot of punk records despite being recorded in 1966 is pretty remarkable and I count myself ruddy lucky to have seen Love with Arthur Lee perform it live before he passed away back in 2006. I can heartily recommend that you spend a day catching up on the band's entire output via whatever 'channel' floats yer boat too.
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Thankfully I'm not slaughtered, gutted or heartbroken but I do love the "stitch short of a tapestry" line on this pretty obscure Squeeze album track. I must've listened to this album a million times when I was a student (hey, you had to pay for your music in those days...and it wasn't even my copy) but, for some reason, this track's suddenly started popping into my head again.
The same album spawned the rather lovely 'If It's Love'...
...and Jools Holland at his boogie woogie best on Dr Jazz...
...despite all this it only reached number 58 in the charts. Pah.
Friday, March 15, 2019
S'Friday and for many reasons this track feels particularly appropriate today. Turn it up loud, dance around in your pants and hopefully whatever's worrying you will disappear into the ether...for 4 minutes and 7 seconds at least.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
If there's a reason why I don't post so many Siouxsie and the Banshees tracks on here it's because I struggle with spelling 'Siouxsie'...but seemingly I've nailed it today...Siouxsie...Siousie...Susie...oh bollocks.
Anyway, Kiss Them For Me, a great track from an equally great album, Peepshow, which I had on tape (yes, I know, how hip eh?) back in the very late 80s, in fact it was '89...30 years ago. Good grief. Let's celebrate by sticking up Peek-A-Boo from the album too. Enjoy!
Monday, March 11, 2019
Thursday, March 07, 2019
Now officially approved by none other than Richard Thompson here's the latest release from Katherine Priddy, an utterly beguiling track that'll soothe even the most furrowed of brows. I'd like to say that no priceless antiques...oh alright then, knick-knacks...were harmed in the making of the video but quite clearly that's not true.
Tuesday, March 05, 2019
Picked up a £1 copy of Was Not Was' Are You Ok? album at the Exeter Record Fair on Saturday and listened to this track for the first time in...ooooh...probably 15 years. Bonkers but quite brilliant, kind of like a cross between an 80s James Brown track and a Hunter S. Thompson short story...
Monday, March 04, 2019
Genuinely shocked to hear that Keith Flint, lead screamer and master of mayhem with The Prodigy, has passed away at just 49 years old. No idea what the cause was yet, not that it really matters, but sad news indeed. The Prodigy started off as a bit of a rave novelty act with Charly but over the years grew to become one of the more interesting and entertaining 'alt dance/big beat' bands around. I genuinely remember hearing Firestarter for the first time lying in bed one Saturday morning and thinking "What the hell is this...?" and being amazed that it was The Prodigy. I mean, where the hell did that come from eh? It still sounds epic a mere 23 years later. RIP Keith.
Friday, March 01, 2019
A rather fine 60s girl group tinged newbie from the now solo Honeyblood. I've liked pretty much everything they've/she's put out so far and it's a ruddy shame they/she aren't much better known. Come the revolution though eh?
PS: Here's another belter from when they were a two piece...
Thursday, February 28, 2019
Back to the late 80s for a little slice of indie pop heaven courtesy of The Darling Buds. For some reason I've heard this track played on 6 Music a couple of times recently and I'd forgotten how good it was (that'll be the dementia setting in no doubt). After a few breaks and one off reunions the band reformed in 2013 and released a new EP back in 2017. Here's the title track off it, it's like they'd never been away.
Tuesday, February 26, 2019
Good grief, Peter Tork last week and the voice of Talk Talk this week. Mark Hollis may have pretty much vanished from the music scene altogether back in 1998 but the singles Talk Talk, It's My Life and Life's What You Make It remain three of the very best from the 80s, grown up and sophisticated pop that still sound great almost 40 years later. If you've not heard 'em (unlikely I know but it's remarkable how some people are oblivious to anything other than Ariana Grande) give 'em a spin. I'd never seen this footage of a run through another classic single, Dum Dum Girl, before. Nice to see the real geezer behind the dark shades for a change.
Monday, February 25, 2019
Heard this last week on 6 Music and it floated what's left of my boat. It's a little bit Zappa-ish and a little bit proggy, perfect for losing your mind to on a nippy February morning. Turn on, tune in and drop out as a wiser soul than me once said. Mind you he was off his box on LSD so I'd take what he said with a pinch on snuff. Anyway, enjoy!
Friday, February 22, 2019
Shockingly little coverage of the death of Peter Tork last night but there you go, I guess Brexit's pretty much all everyone's interested in these days. The Monkees sold an incredible 75million records, had a rather groovy TV show (that I can remember watching when I was 3...a mere 46 years ago...ouch) and successfully transformed themselves from pop puppets to a 'proper' band, practically inventing country rock along the way courtesy of the Mike Nesmith penned and sung Listen To The Band.
RIP Mr Tork.
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
I'm just 1 minute 43 seconds into what could well be the last will and testament of The Day Ends and I have to get this posted right now. Already I can physically taste the blood, sweat, tears and bile that went into making it and whether, as a result of this post, it gets heard by 1 more person or 1 million (ha, fat chance eh?) I just have to do what I can carry on spreading the gospel according to St MPH.
Sure he's a polarising figure, he's pissed people off, some who may not have deserved it and some who undoubtedly deserved a lot worse, but true passion and belief is an uncontrollably explosive force my friends and in a world in which far too many people hide quivering behind their screens or a thin veil of virtue signalling bullshit voices like Miles' should be clutched to our hearts like a barbed wire pacemaker. The Day Ends? Maybe. But the realisation of the importance of the body of work that Miles and co (in all of their various guises) leave behind is something that hasn't even begun.
Friday, February 15, 2019
I doubt you'll ever see a more deranged and energetic live performance that this one dating, I guess, to the early 80s. Townsend may have smashed his guitar and Hendrix set his on fire but Wendy O. Williams is quite possibly the only one to have cut hers in half with a frickin' chainsaw. Imagine the health and safety hoops you'd have to jump through (carefully mind you and with an appropriate safety net) these days to pull such a stunt. Sadly Wendy O was a troubled soul and after a couple of failed suicide attempts finally succeeded by shooting herself with a pistol almost 21 years ago noting in a note she left behind that 'much of the world makes no sense'. Blimey imagine what she'd make of 2019 eh?
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Happy Valentine's Day and all that jazz. I'm pretty sure I've posted this track at least once before but you can't go far wrong with a bit of Waiting For A Star To Fall can you eh? Ahhhh those sax breaks...what's not to love.
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Heard this track on 6 Music a few weeks ago and thought it might be something by The Cramps but nope, it's a 1992 single from Ministry. I can't recall hearing it at the time but I was a student back then and to be honest can't recall much from those years so, you know, maybe I did. Anyway if you've not heard it or if you have but you'd forgotten because your brain's turned to mush give it a spin/click as it's brilliantly bonkers.
PS: And here's The Cramps Surfin Bird, surely Jesus Built My Hotrod's spiritual cousin.
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
It's been a bit of a grower here in Baron Towers but Vampire Weekend's new one, Harmony Hall, is now well and truly installed in what's left of my ageing brain. Topically enough in the week that the extinction of every living insect (except cockroaches I'm guessing, aren't they practically indestructible?) was predicted the video features loads of 'em. Awwww bless.
PS: Can't resist sticking up Cousins too...great track and equally great vid. 10 ruddy years ago though...whooahhhh!
Friday, February 08, 2019
Thursday, February 07, 2019
There's something more than a little bit Britpoppy about this new track from the hotly tipped (by the band themselves as much as anyone but, hey, if ya don't believe in yourself who will eh?) Sports Team. And no, that's not a bad thing, far from it. It may still be a bit too soon to view the Britpop era as a genuinely great time for music but as someone who lived through it, saw the bands (oh so many bands) and bought the CD singles (parts 1, 2 and 3...the labels sure knew how to milk the fans in those days) I just so happen to think it was. Sports Team have that same literate bent possessed by some of Britpop's finest, step forward Strangelove, Spearmint, Pulp, My Life Story, Art Brut etc and, let's face it, music could do with a little more brains and a lot less autotuning right now. I'm going out on a bit of a limb here but I reckon they could be ruddy HUGE...or at the very least ruddy IMPORTANT. Anyway, here's another fine offering, imagine the bastard offspring of the Stones and The Buzzcocks, enjoy...
Tuesday, February 05, 2019
Yesterday was a new experience, evacuated from my home due to a monumental gas leak. If someone had walked past and lit a cigarette I may well have been talking to you from the other side as it's highly likely I'd have been blown into little tiny pieces. It makes ya think dun't it eh? Anyway to celebrate not being dead what better tune that a little Classical Gas...ahem...eh? Enjoy.
Thursday, January 31, 2019
Monday, January 28, 2019
Friday, January 25, 2019
A new (to me at least) Friday related track from US soul singer Sir Charles Jones for all those 9 to 5 workers out there. Lay back, chill out and let the groove take y'all into the weekend...maybe not if you're still in the office mind you...then again why the hell not eh? I've done worse.
Thursday, January 24, 2019
Sad news reached the Aid this week with the announcement that Two Tone legend Ranking Roger of The Beat had suffered a couple of strokes, was diagnosed with lung cancer and had a brain tumour (one of two) removed at the end of 2018. Blimey, talk about bad luck coming in threes eh? This all happened at a time when The Beat (Ranking Roger's version...there's another one in the US...it's complicated) were on the cusp of releasing and touring a brand new album too. Happily, as the interview above shows, Roger's determined to get back doing what he loves as soon as possible, in the meantime cop a load of the darn fine recent single Maniac.
All the best Roger.
Monday, January 21, 2019
Friday, January 18, 2019
Can the start of the 90s really be almost 30 years ago? Good grief. Signs of a 90s revival started appearing a few years back and a new compilation from Steve Lamacq's set to shine a light on some of the many, many (oh so many) 90s bands that have perhaps faded from your memory. Although if you're reading this I guess there's a fair chance you may have barely been a twinkle in your parents' eyes when Voodoo Queens had their all too brief flirtation with fame. I was lucky enough to see 25 or so of the bands on the 4CD compilation and have fond memories of sweaty nights in Edwards, The Flapper (and Firkin as it was), The Foundry, The Hummingbird and no doubt one or two other venues that have vanished from memory under a tsunami of Dry Blackthorn.
Anyway, here's a trio of top tracks from the almost 80 on offer. Steve Lamacq's Lost Alternatives is out on March 22nd courtesy of Edsel Records.
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Music's a funny thing. A lot of what passes for 'cool' these days makes me want to rip off my own ears and feed 'em to a pack of rabid dogs but this track has enough of a punky swagger to float what's left of my boat. This is a rather well pulled off live (well, live-ish) version too.
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
A bit of a Facebook 'chat' about this article reminded me of buying a tape at a Mela at Cannon Hill Park waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the 80s. I've somehow mislaid it over the years but here's a bit of a mix from the album. Great stuff eh? Enjoy!
Friday, January 11, 2019
Back to last weekend's CD haul for this week's Friday Banger and a remix of DJ Kool's classic Let Me Clear My Throat. Picked this up for 33p, seven versions on a Maxi CD single too. Bargain.
Tuesday, January 08, 2019
Picked up another small mountain of CDs at the weekend for as little as 33p each. As I've banged on about many times before the CD revival is just around the corner people. Here's why:
- CDs sound better than downloads...and they're often a lot cheaper these days too.
- You can't stick a bunch of downloads on your shelf and go "Ooooh pretty" or show off your crap/weird taste to your mates or that person you want to cop off with.
- Apple/Microsoft/Spotify can't decide to block access to the tunes that you've already paid for or suddenly start charging a fortune to listen to stuff.
- CDs remind us of a time before the ruddy internet which, lets face it, is doing more to screw up the human race than pretty much any invention ever.
- Unlike vinyl CDs are pretty resilient, they don't take a huge amount of expensive kit to play but they still have a little book of lyrics and pretty pictures to look through.
- If you don't buy CDs they'll end up in a landfill and all the ickle baby penguins will die.
I know, I know...streaming/downloading is more convenient blah blah blah but, in the words of Mr Liam Lynch, whose CD single I bought on Saturday, I'm like...whatever.
Friday, January 04, 2019
Psssss...ever wanted to hear System Of A Down's epic Chop Suey played on a Baroque Grand piano? Yes, me too. Settle down with a cup of tea/coffee/chop suey and enjoy.
PS: Just in case you've not heard the original in all its glory here you go. You're welcome.
Wednesday, January 02, 2019
Happy New Year dear reader and welcome to the 14th...good grief...year of The Hearing Aid. Okay so my posts these days tend to consist of roughly 16 words but never mind the quantity feel the quality eh? Hmmmm. Anyway hopefully this year I'll make it to slightly more gigs than I did in 2018 which, given that I only really made it to 2 (plus a couple of festivals) shouldn't be too tricky.
As per usual Christmas at Baron Towers was spent in a haze of gin, wine, yule log cream and artery blocking food but we did venture out to the chazzas and predictably came back with yet more CDs including a double from the rather wonderful and underrated Art Of Noise which only came out a few months ago. Presumably the buyer just uploaded the whole shebang to his/her/their ruddy smart phone or laptop and didn't need the original. Suits me.
PS: Sad to hear about HMV, inevitable but still incredibly sad. It looks unlikely that anyone will step in to save it this time, especially as the last lot (a 'vulture' fund called Hilco) seemingly took £50million out of the business over the past few years. I really do fear for the future of music. Sure there will always be great bands and artists out there but who the hell will be able to afford to pursue music as a 'career' when a million hits on You Tube only nets you enough for a single stick of gum? The result? A music biz controlled by one or two massive corporations, a handful of manufactured acts releasing tunes genetically modified to appeal to as many people as possible for roughly one week before the next comes along and a live scene that withers away to nothingness leaving just enormodomes playing host to holograms of long dead performers playing the hits to a crowd videoing the whole thing on their phones. The internet really does have a lot to answer for when you think about it.