Freedom for Canvey!?$@!? All a bit ‘Passport to Pimlico’ isn’t it…will Wilko need a passport to gig ‘on the mainland’?
What does it sound like?:
This anthology set looks back over Wilson’s solo career, kicking off with the excellent Love and Mercy from his impressive 1988 self titled album. Indeed, four of the eighteen songs included here are justifiably selected from what, for me, was by far his strongest solo effort, including the epic track Rio Grande. There are also two songs, Surf’s Up and the sublime Heroes and Villains, from his own completion of the Beach Boys legendary Smile project, which are still just fantastic examples of the craft of songwriting. Soul Searchin’ features a nice duet with his late brother Carl, and as well as a couple of okay but not especially outstanding live tracks, you get one track each from the two albums he did for Disney – The Like In I Love You, from ‘Reimagines Gerschwin’, and Colours In The Wind from ‘In The Key of Disney.’ There’s a little something from most, although by no means all, of his solo albums, including two previously unreleased songs, one hailing from the early nineties and one written specifically for this project. While both are pleasant, neither is earth shattering, which I feel is a bit of » Continue Reading.
What did you get me?
Disappointed that country music is a “boring brown”.
Aged 51. Cause of death, cirrhosis of the liver. Incredibly sad.
The legendary Dave ‘Maha Dev’ Codling, ex Quintessence rhythm guitarist, has recently revitalised his 1979-80 US band Made In Japan, fronted by Tony Fried. Here’s a video for new song ‘Think Pink’.
These days he edited a decent review of albums for Murdoch’s The Australian, occasional interview pieces with visiting musos and phone in stuff for indie radio shows. I had a few discussions with him usually debating the merits of a Dylan review and he was happy to reply.
As it happens, I will soon be seeing Ed Kuepper playing his Aints band doing Saints songs. Although Ed had left the Saints by then it will be a fitting tribute if he plays some stuff from that period.
Assking for a friend.
Taking the beloved Baroness to a George Michael Legacy thingy at Blackburn Kings Hall for an early Christmas Prezzie on December 16th. She`s a massive fan of G.M. and that band he was in.
It`s a surprise for her, I`ve got middle of front row tickets. No disrespect to any fans reading this but I can`t stand the fellow and his mate Graham Wiggerly.
I`m thinking of taking my ipod and headphones. Would that be disrespectful or a wise move?
Ophelia is on her way. Make sure you don’t climb any Willow trees as she did. Otherwise, you may share her fate.
Personally, I’m looking forward to Hurricane Smith.
Nantwich Civic Hall
A full playthrough of “Power In the Darkness” 40 years on from “2-4-6-8 Motorway” at 1.30pm in the afternoon in Nantwich Civic Hall, rock n’ roll capital of Cheshire? Yes please. In th efirst bloom of PC amidst punk orthodoxy, the Tom Robinson Band were a basically unreconstructed rock band with plenty of riffage and strong Hammond Organ singing songs with political lyrics that helped stop the rise of Thatcherism (see what i did there?). Now 67, Tom Robinson plus excellent side men played a pretty straight run-through of everything they recorded before 1978 (I missed “I’m All Right, Jack”) plus the album, Tom going at it like a dog with a bag of hot chips, and clearly enjoying himself, if sometimes puffed-out by the frenetic pace. A few songs had slightly updated lyrics which avoided the obvious (Trump, Brexit, UKIP, Corbyn) for slightly broader humanist sensibilities, which i think was a good decision given how cliched it would have been to name the usual suspects. One thing; to me, “Martin”, a music hall paen to idiot delinquents, could be dropped: hitting someone in the face with a cloakroom stool, nicking cars, joyriding, » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
With New Energy, Kieran Hebden, aka Four Tet, has hit his sweet spot. It seems that the discovery of his Indian heritage via his grandmother’s record collection, has given him an extra sense of purpose. It’s as though he’s found himself.
Four Tet’s music has always been clean, spacious and rich with melody. Whether sampling acoustic instruments for the Folktronica of Rounds in 2003 or deploying voice loops and club pulses for 2009’s There Is Love In You, his albums radiate with warmth.
New Energy adds some Indian mysticism and sounds much more personal. His song titles, such as You Are Loved, SW9 9SL, Daughter and Gentle Soul, obviously mean a great deal to him. Alap sets the tone, an Alap being an Indian term for an introductory theme, a quiet little melody picked out on a harp-like instrument over a keyboard wash. That theme is then developed for Two Thousand And Seventeen, this time sounding more like a kyoto pushed by a throbbing beat and decorated with fluttering strings. The acoustic instruments throughout New Energy have a purity and clarity that is both otherworldly, yet deeply human. This also applies to the various » Continue Reading.
I’ve got 2 tickets going spare for Rhiannon Giddens at Bristol Colston Hall on Sat November 18th. They’re in Row U seats 13 & 14. Absolutely gutted I can’t go so they may be wet with tears when they arrive if there are any takers. They cost me £45 for the pair and I’ll pay for recorded delivery. Sob sob sob.
Here’s the test. You can take it right now. No registration is required and the results will remain confidential unless you choose to make them public.
Simply choose which of the two following songs you prefer:
It was after band practice, one Saturday in ’72. I was breaking down the kit, ready to carry it back down the hill to our house. We practised in Chris & Steve’s house (guitar and bass) on most Saturday afternoons. My brother Phil & I (guitar and drums) lived at the bottom of the hill, on the same road. Anyway, as I was unscrewing the bass drum pedal, I became aware of someone standing next to me. I looked up. It was Steve’s girlfriend, Angie. She smiled down at me, her blonde hair falling across her face.
“Do you want any help?” she asked.
They hadn’t been going out very long, so I didn’t know her too well. She was tall, slim and incredibly pretty. And she had a smile to wrap yourself up in. It lit up her face. And she smiled a lot. She was a really happy kid.
“Thanks. You could undo the nuts on the cymbals for me.” She nodded.
At 16 I had the most severe acne that one doctor at the hospital had ever seen. I am 61 years old now and am still taking daily pills to keep it in check. It has » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
This is a huge deluxe reissue of Stone Temple Pilots’ 1992 debut, now appearing as four cds plus a DVD plus a heavyweight vinyl copy of the original lp – oh and there’s a book thrown in too – all to commemorate the album’s twenty fifth anniversary.
You’ll no doubt recall this seminal grunge album, which has now been remastered, from back in the day, featuring the late Scott Weiland on vocals. Songs such as Sex Type Thing, Crackerman, Wicked Garden and Plush still hold their own to this day against anything released by more commercially successful grunge bands such as Nirvana. There was always something slightly dark about this album, and indeed this band, but this was their most commercially and critically successful album. The second cd has a collection of demos and B sides, including good acoustic takes of Plush and Creep, and it’s interesting to hear the demo of Sex Type Thing. However, with all these sets, you always wonder just how many times this type of thing will actually be listened to more than on the odd occasion. Cd three has extracts from two live shows from 93, one » Continue Reading.
Mrs P and is out getting a haircut in the West End so I’ve lit the fire, opened more than one lager, and so far listened to the best of The Damned, the Stones blues covers album, and currently 1965 by The Afghan Whigs. I’ve made a massaman curry for later and if I can’t persuade her to listen to more music we’ll catch up on the last series of The Walking Dead before the new one starts in the next week or two. What you listening to?
Sums up modern America more than The Residents? Disturbing, frightening, discordant but sometimes beautiful.
The new box set on Cherry Red has only reconfirmed my admiration for this band.
Have the best? version of Satisfaction on me.
Back in the day I had couple of rare vinyl albums that I sold in the early 2000s for a nice profit.
Does this market still exist for vinyl or CDs?
I have nothing to sell but am just curious.
It’s early days but I’m really enjoying Neil Finn’s new record Out of Silence, as I did his last, very different, album Dizzy Heights. It was recorded in various sessions put out live on Facebook (the films are all online) but the record stands up on its own beyond the notion of that particular experiment . It’s darker and more sombre than much of his best known output, both in lyrics and in the largely piano and orchestral arrangements. Maybe that’s a function of age – he’s 60 next year – maybe just the subject matter he has taken on, including the Bataclan murders in Terrorise Me. But it’s beautiful in a largely minor key, understated way.
I’ve dipped in and out of Crowded House and Finn brothers’ solo material. But the more I listen the more I think that there are very few songwriters since the 60s who can match his unerring ear and ability to write wonderful melodies. The comparison with Paul McCartney has been made so many times it’s become a cliche, but you can see why. He shares with McCartney and a few others like Brian Wilson, Burt Bacharach, Carole King, an apparently effortless ability to » Continue Reading.
Sharon and I are exploring honeymoon options.
Right now it looks like France (already covered) and Scotland. So I throw us on your mercy. What we’re looking for, in an ideal world, is a hotel with stuff to do in the countryside. Trossachs, Cairngorms, Islands, that kind of thing. Equally, a hotel where I can lounge about and get gradually schnookered drinking cocktails while Sharon is out doing that outdoorsy stuff she does…
There may be a stop over in either Glasgow or Edinburgh, depending on final destination.
Massive – it’s over to you!
Gloria Theater, Cologne, Germany
Listening to their records suggests a band with a sparse instrumental sound, well acquainted with rock traditions like early-70s classic/ late-70s new wave/ 80s college/early-90s shoegaze/ and all psychedelic tropes since. Also that they’re not about to bother the mainstream any time soon, given that they’ve got no songs or melodies to speak of, although there is a vocalist. What they have, though, are good and memorable motifs on which to hang their instrumental adventures, and intensity in spades. There’s a timelessness about them too, as in, they could have appeared at any point in recent decades. I got to know them through the blog and seeing their show was a no-brainer as soon as their tour was announced. All Them Witches is a conventional drums/bass/guitar/keyboards line-up, not exactly young, but clearly delighted to part of this band at this time. Live, they hit you from the off with wave after thrusting wave of intense tightly-coiled power which never lets up. No smokin’ break acoustic interludes, no sing-alongs, just a concentrated high power set. It suggests an amazing level of trust and mutual reliance and preparedness, given that they really aren’t, y’know, » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
Carry Fire is the sixth great album in a row in what is clearly an imperial phase for Robert Plant in the 21st Century. In his middle to late middle age, he has found a new musical voice, one that blends Folk, Celtic, Indian, African, Blues and Rock elements into something universal and personal, ancient and modern, mysterious and honest, mature and experimental. The bar was set with Dreamland, an album of covers, in 2002, and has been pushed higher with successive albums through Mighty Rearranger, Raising Sand, Band Of Joy, lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar and, now, Carry Fire.
In fact, Plant sounded broken-hearted on Ceaseless Roar, drowning in a thick, dense cauldron of rejection. Carry Fire reveals him as rejuvenated, seemingly having found a new love, a real spring in his step. There are some very sweet love songs here. There are also energetic, fiery, spunky songs, often looking back to past triumphs and disasters, sung by a warrior who has travelled the world and seen the stars fighting on the shoulder of Orion. There’s more actual caustic window-rattling guitar than previously. His voice, as an instrument, is perfect, mature, grizzled, teaming » Continue Reading.
And I don’t mean fretwankery guitar solos, I mean using the guitar for sounds, for moods, for experience. There seems to be a momentum for largely solo guitar sonics that is a delight. In recent months I have seen Duke Garwood, Ryley Walker and heard/bought the excellent Justin Adams, all of whom seem to favour dense soundscapes over lookatme jiggery pokery. I think all this a renaissance of the instrument, as accomplished as the 60’s/70’s wizards, but without the diddle. Ain’t it great! P.S. Adams went to Eton 5 years ahead of Cameron, D.
Did anyone in the UK see this week’s ‘The Apprentice’? There was a guy whose plea to remain ‘in the process’ was that he had ‘a background in breakdancing’. We got to see some of this in the show and more in the ‘You’re Fired’ show after it.
I know nothing about breakdancing but, as far as I could tell, he was crap at it. Was I right?