ALL FM 96.9 15th Birthday Celebrations

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ALL FM 96.9 is a fantastic community radio station serving Central, South and East Manchester and has been doing so for 15 years. Like most community radio stations it not only provides an incredibly diverse range of programming that reaches the parts even Aunty BBC can’t reach. It also provides fantastic training and skills for local people in all aspects of radio presentation and production. That can make a real difference to people’s lives – not only do they get valuable IT, social and creative skills it also helps build up self confidence and self esteem…nothing quite beats having to speak to Manchester when the red light goes on!.… Read more

The artistry of Marshall Mathers III

Profile photo of Chimney Singing Crow Chimney Singing Crow / Blog5 Comments

A couple of weeks back I had one of those beautiful moments of serendipity when your iPod is on shuffle and it throws up a song you had never really paid much attention to before, but which completely envelopes you and leaves your jaw hanging open in wonder.

The Marshall Mathers 2 LP which came out around 18 months ago had been gathering dust on my shelf – although Love Game and So Far are some of my most repeated songs on my iPod the rest hadn’t really grabbed me. There was enough in those two songs to suggest Eminem was reaching new ground as an MC but it was the song that popped up the other day ‘Bad Guy’ that made me realise how much of a different level he is on these days.… Read more


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Monty Panesar has become the latest cricketer to be rested because of ‘issues’. Now these may not be of a mental nature but could it be that performing sport at the highest level for 6 or 7 hours a day for 5 days just screws you up?… Read more

New Kids On The Block + TLC + Nelly

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First Niagara Center, Buffalo, NY

Date: 02/07/2015

It would be too obvious for me to slate this concert, after all I’m nowhere near the demographic for this kind of thing. But I like pop music, can be entertained by spectacle and it was in this spirit that I accompanied my wife to this show (plus Fraser Lewry went to see Justin Timberlake didn’t he!?)
Unfortunately, there was no real spectacle to be had. My preconception going in was that NKOTB are an act with no real tunes. Even by boy-band standards their contemporaries (Backstreet Boys, Take That) had the better songs up their sleeves.… Read more

Nearly. Nearly….

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It’s nearly ‘home-time’. The sun has been belting down all day and I can’ t wait to get out in the garden, crack open the Shiraz and tuck into a massive ham and turkey salad. However, I need some musical accompaniment. I’m leaning towards loads of upbeat songs with jangly guitars and great harmonies. So, whatcha got?
I’ll start us off with the heavenly Fannies. Have a great weekend everyone.

ATM – Grieving.

Profile photo of Jackthebiscuit Jackthebiscuit / Blog56 Comments

I think I may well need to take my tin hat out of mothballs with this post.

A couple of hours ago I went & did a bit of shopping. When I got to Morrisons, a member of staff was at the door, with her finger to her lips mouthing “Please stand still, its a minutes silence for those killed in Tunisia”

I have nothing but sympathy for those who died & their families, a terrible thing to happen, going away on holiday, to never come home.

But, (& This is where my tin hat gets put on). Why did we have the minutes silence ?… Read more

Picture (A Little Girl)

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My youngest daughter is dressed and ready for school but is already in her own world. It’s this morning, around 7.00am. The air in the house is thankfully cool and vibrant once again after the humid torpor of the past few days that rendered us all mute and distracted from the normal family sensibilities. She stands in her bedroom lost in thought and looks out of her window to the back garden below and the fields and woods beyond. The sun is streaming through and bathes her in its muted warmth. She lifts the recorder to her lips and practises the piece she’ll soon be performing at the summer fair.… Read more

What did the NME know?

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The NME provided good curatorship of music and popular culture for the first 10 years of my musical development (1972-1982). There was no YouTube, albums were expensive when you got 75p pocket money, and so the local music library helped me to discover, for example, old blues artists name-dropped in the mag. The ‘year zero tendencies’ of the punk years sometimes threw out the baby with the bathwater, but the year end charts and poll-winners generally showed the power of the group. Into the 80s, the tapes kept ears open, but the posturing, pushing, and politics led to some right bollocks, IMHO.… Read more

Cardiacs. Give them another try.

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The Cardiacs are an archetypal vegemite/marmite band. Blur, Thom Yorke are huge fans. Peel hated them as did, it seems, most of the record buying public. I came to them very late, merely months before Tim Smith had his heart attack and stroke which ended the band. I pretty much instantly became a devoted and evangelical fan. Get a few drinks down me at parties and I become a Cardiac’s bore – “You really must give this a listen…. luckily I have it here on my phone … No wait … its great … really”

Anyway this particularly track came up on my ipod shuffle today and consequently I felt compelled to share it with you lot.… Read more

Rejected hit songs

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There’s a few of these stories about, where a singer/band turns down a song that was subsequently a huge hit for someone else.

Here’s a rather unlikely story I read the other day – Micky Dolenz (who has a great voice) turning down David Gates’ “Diary” (interesting he mentions the “Brill Building West” – not something I’d heard of before).

So what are the really well-known ones I’ve forgotten? Or lesser known ones that my nerd-brain needs to know about? more

Consecutive Compendium of Culture – Nashville, Neoclassical, New Beat, No Wave, Noise Pop, Northern Soul, Nordic Folk – nominate nice and nasty nuggets of noise

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Now, the next node in the notebook of naming nurtured (musical) numbers, novels, etc.
Here we go, everybody! Another fortnight of clips as the letter ‘n’ proudly presents itself for your inspiration and ridicule.

To my shame, the only artwork connected to the letter ‘n’ I could find was the cover of Rio, by Patrick Nagel – I’m sure there are others?

And here’s a song that should be uncontroversial:
Nick Drake – Northern Sky
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A Few Minutes Ago

Profile photo of Rob C Rob C / Blog4 Comments

I scooped out a cat toilet, and I am now (not me obviously – atmospherics etc) de-frosting a pizza for two. I have Sun Ra playing.

In a future life if this place exists I will relive this beautiful moment and possibly talk about Quartz Cladding.… Read more

Oh, Mother*

Profile photo of fentonsteve fentonsteve / Blog5 Comments

How’s this for niche?
Cactus World News are releasing an album of rarities and out-takes. I doubt HMV will be opening at midnight for that.

* See what I did there?… Read more