It’s 10 years ago that Chris Sievey died, possibly better known to the majority as Frank Sidebottom, he was a talented musician, producing some cracking music both solo and with his band The Freshies. He was an innovator, starting his own label in 1974, he was one of the first if not the first to produce & sell independent music video’s direct to the public, he released the first ever multi-media single with a ZX Spectrum game on the b-side, naturally he wrote the programm. He was also talented artist, a really funny guy and possibly as mad as a box of frogs. His family have arranged “an evening extravaganza of online Sidebottom and Sievey-related entertainment, broadcast straight into your living room!” It will be well worth a watch, in fact you could say it will be fantastic.
He was one of those marmite artists, but at least he made you have an opinion even if it was to detest his music/art which is far far better than a shrug of the shoulders and a “it’s alright”.
The Met, Bury
An eclectic array of instruments, banjo, harp, accordion, glockenspiel, voilà sit on a bare stage surrounding three unassuming blokes who are grinning from ear to ear as the packed room lauds them. They are Harp and a Monkey and for almost two hours they have entertained delighted the audience with their unique Northern Folk Experimentalism and storytelling.
The future is built upon the past they’d sung earlier and so it is, using various connotations of the instruments mentioned plus home made backing tapes that add extra of said instruments as well as beats and grooves, they’d performed both original and traditional songs . Their music at times conjures thoughts of David Thomas, Music Hall, The Orb, Lenny Cohen, Jacques Brel, Bjork and The Oldham tinkers but it is always, uniquely their own.
Singer Martin Purdy had a begun the show by saying they were probably “committing commercial suicide” as they would be playing the new album,( due November) in it’s entirety during the first half the show. Yet such is the craft, the sheer excellence of this band and the strength of the material that each new song was greeted at as » Continue Reading.
I wrote a load of words about this, they were good, insightful, witty, deep, thought-provoking* on how the top 6 was fairly predictable in choice of titles it was just the order that would change depending on individuals. And that between 75 and 87 Bruce couldn’t put a foot wrong releasing 6 wonderful albums and that he hasn’t made a great album since 1987.
Then I pressed the wrong button and deleted it all. I’ve got to be up at the crack o dawn, so I’m not doing it again, so just accept this quickly typed bobbins.. . Discuss, Ignore. Write your own list. I’m off to bed and to no doubt snore.
Oh my top 6 6 – Born In the USA 5 – The River 4 – Born To Run 3 – Nebraska 2 -Tunnel of Love 1 – Darkness on the Edge of Town
And Tom Joad would be in the top 10 in place of Devils and Dust
* Not true, the words lost were rubbish aswell!!
Bit behind on the solo threads….
And is it time to give early Leo a bit of affection?
The Manchester Arena
Let’s not beat about the bush this is a Vaudeville show, it’s what the Coop does best, long gone are the days of any pretense of being a serious rock/shock band. Alice, his band and the audience are here to enjoy a night of power pop/metal rock and being the old ham that he is he ensures that everybody gets what they want. After a taped introduction Alice cocooned in a cape stands stock like at the front of the stage, superciliously overseeing his Sickthings as they roar their approval, the cape is cast aside and the riff of Brutal Planet fills the air. Alice prowls the stage with pantomime menace as the band of young hired guns swirl like dervishes throwing all the required rock poses yet never missing a beat or a cue from Cooper as they seamlessly power though song after song. The set list as ever is dominated by the original bands Ezra period albums and Alice’s solo Welcome to My Nightmare.
Halo of Flies is a tour de force that allows the guitarists to show their virtuosity and for Cooper to take a breather and change costume. » Continue Reading.
Vi Subversa: 20th June 1935 – 19th February 2016: Somewhat forgotten by the story tellers of the punk rock wars, but The Poison Girls catalogue will one day get the praise it deserves.