Those unaware, you go to your collection and click on random item. Here’s mine today:
What does it sound like?:
Having been guilty of forgetting about Badly Drawn Boy, I was surprised at the start of the year to notice he was playing a gig round the corner from where I work in Leeds. I was immediately intrigued; I knew he’d had some kind of fairly public meltdown, released a very patchy album in 2010 and had since kept a low-profile. Anyhow, I bought a ticket – and had a very enjoyable evening. He was clearly back ‘feeling it’ and mentioned at the gig that a new album would follow. ‘Banana Skin Shoes’ is, like most records released nowadays, about four tracks too long. Don’t let that put you off, there are some delightful songs on this record. He pays homage to Tony Wilson and Manchester and says sorry to his ex-wife, a lot. The beautiful ‘I Just Wanna Wish You Happiness’ is the stand out track for me, but this album is brimming with many a nice pop tune. He’s always written from the heart, and although he is very much doing that here, the arrangements are so nicely put together, that you find yourself overlooking his self-indulgence. ‘Fly On The Wall’ and » Continue Reading.
Top 3 live shows you’ve seen…
Bruce Springsteen. Leeds Arena. July 2013 Just a pure celebration of his songs. Like a Boss jukebox. Such a privilege to see him perform live. Genius. Such a great atmosphere, the crowd into every chord of every song.
Pet Shop Boys. Birmingham NEC. June 1991 Mind-blowing show – if you’ve never seen it, you should watch on YouTube. Ground-breaking production. A friend lent my DVD of the show and thought it was a collection on video promos, which tells you how good it was. Influenced most live shows going forward.
Morrissey. Sheffield City Hall. February 1995 Just after Vauxhall & I, he was at the height of his powers on this tour. Came on with a knuckle-duster and cuts to his face and hands. Crazy, before the real craziness of today. The songs from the album sounded amazing.
With Mr Hannon’s next album on the horizon, I thought now is a good time to show some appreciation for, I think, one of Britain’s most underappreciated songwriters. Great fun live too. Their commercial peak may well be long gone, but as part of my expedition to fall back in love with music I’m focusing on an artists’ back catalogue every month, and May has been most enjoyable listening back to ‘Fin de Siecle’, ‘Foreverland’ and ‘Bang Goes The Knighthood’.
As a teenager I was obsessed with music – I mean completely obsessed. I devoured singles, albums in painstaking detail. Everything, the lyrics, the music, the production, the sleeve, the promo video. Since last week I have been listening to The National’s new album – at home whilst cooking, housework etc. I’ve had it playing on my commute work or in the background whilst working at home. And it’s pleasant enough, I like some of the songs, really like a few, but nothing really, really grabs me. And I’ve realised that nothing has really grabbed me for years, possibly decades. It’s easy and obvious to blame digital music, and I partly do – too much choice, losing the art of listening to albums and not having a physical copy in my hand. But, I also blame myself – music just doesn’t give me the rush it once did – and it’s all rather worrying! Does anybody else feel the same? Is anybody actually more in to music than they were when they were younger?
I realised I don’t really listen to any music from the 1960s or 70s other than The Beatles, early Springsteen and Neil Young. Anyhow, over Christmas I made a commitment to broaden my horizons and I stumbled across a couple of Spotify playlists that are based on recent compilations released by Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs. One is set to the “autumnal sound of Britain at the turn of the seventies, looking out through wet window panes with a mixture of melancholy and optimism for what come next. With the Beatles gone and the pound sinking, a new distinctive sound emerges, led by flutes and mellontrons.” The other one, State of the Union – The American Dream in Crisis is billed as “the sound of a country trying to work its way out of a crisis.” Both are great listens. Personal favourites are; Elvis Presley. Clean Up Your Own Backyard. Ray Stevens. Mr. Businessman. The Tokens. Some People Sleep (all 39 seconds of it). Van Der Graaf Generator. Refugees. Daevid Allen. Wise Man In Your Heart.
English Weather https://open.spotify.com/user/qune/playlist/2VW0sOtN6lKphQac0YN34e?si=F6CRs3a5S9CNcu7RtxOPEA
State of the Union https://open.spotify.com/user/thomasscholing/playlist/3gBW2TVoFj8iqKKi6j28Ka?si=Pm7TzNRrQii3wFGagacwsQ
Found this of interest, so thought I might share for anybody interested in retro synths.
The team at Analogue Solutions have recreated a live Pet Shop Boys performance from 1986, using all the original equipment.
Gear: Yamaha DX1 Yamaha DX7 Emu Emulator II Technics PX1 Friendchip SRC Fairlight CMI II Fairlight CMI I (upgraded) 3x Zoom R8 16 9″ CRT monitors
I can’t even imagine to think how much this equipment would have cost in 1986?!
Here is the recreation – played live
And here is the orignal performance
Here is the background from Analgue Solutions;
“I remember watching The Pet Shop Boys performing Opportunities back in the 1980s live on the BBC. It was entirely live despite what some people might think. In recent years I always thought it would be great to get those original synths back together again in one room. I never thought it would » Continue Reading.
Documentary on Sky Arts right now. Fascinating viewing, I’m sure it will be on catch-up etc. Well worth a view. Seeing Elton going in to Tower in LA with his list of wants, ticking them off as he bought multiple copies for all his homes.
Funny little thing happened yesterday. So I’m minding my own business yesterday afternoon in my local city centre boozer in Leeds. I’ve managed to sneak off from work early, so I’m enjoying a quiet pint to kick start the weekend. My attention is soon caught by the lady sat next to me; you don’t get many deep American accents in the West Riding – usually just the normal Yorkshire twangs. She’s most upset at how cold it is. And she wants a small cider – “not a big one in those huge glass cups”, she instructs her acquaintance, on her way to the bar. She catches my eye and we smile at each other. Now my curiosity is doing overtime. Who is this lady? I recognise her from somewhere – is she in a soap opera or a forgotten 80s band? Can’t place her. She looks well, although she has that appearance of somebody who’s obviously had a ‘bit of work’ done. Eventually I realise who it is – but only when I ask her what brings her to the UK, to Leeds and to my local pub. “I’m here to see a special performance by my late husband at » Continue Reading.
Just watching Return Of The Jedi – how fantastic do the Emperor’s Guards look? The least acknowledged of the Star Wars characters…
Some great albums here. And memories.
So I’m visiting Crete next week. Booked completely on a whim, I’m spending seven days in Heraklion in a couple of simple hotels. I’ve been so busy working and trying to buy a house that I have done virtually zero research! Was just wondering if anybody here had visited? And if so, any recommendations on where to visit? I’m planning on hiring either a moped or a car, so I’m more than happy to travel about – but I’m assuming it’s a small island anyway… Thanks in advance.
Anybody else a fan and looking forward to season five? For me, this is one of the best tv dramas of recent time, but doesn’t seem to get the recognition like Breaking Bad etc. Previous four seasons currently back on Sky for anyone slightly interested.
What does it sound like?:
The main album is loosely conceptual – with a theme throughout that all the songs take place at night. It starts with the pulsating ‘For Your Own Good’ – somebody wanting to go out, and concludes with “Footsteps’, where somebody is waiting for their lover/partner to come home. In-between you get a bit of country (‘You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You’re Drunk’), the BBC radiophonic workshop (‘Radiophonic’) and a Kylie duet (‘In Denial). The 2017 remaster brings enhancement – particularly with the new vinyl pressing of the original album. The CD version come with two additional disc of b-sides, PSBs own remixes and demos from the 1996 to 2000 period, highlights include a duet with Elton John and a version of ‘New York City Boy’ called ‘Paris City Boy’, sung entirely in French. ‘Nightlife’ is a fabulous mix of lush strings (the Craig Armstrong produced tracks) and banging beats, produced by either David Morales or Rollo, of Faithless fame. They dressed up for this album, famously with crazy wigs and costumes designed by award-winning theatre designer Ian MacNeil. It wasn’t to everybody’s taste, but I actually think this one of PSBs » Continue Reading.
Two from Pet Shop Boys to get us started –
I’m not, by any stretch, an avid Beatles fan but I’ve been listening to the remastered version of Abbey Road on Spotify this week, and it struck me what a phenomenal record it really is. Such an innovative record – I find it hard to believe that it was recorded before the 1970s! The production is faultless, and the vocals are, to my ears, the best of any Beatles album. ‘Something’ and ‘Here Comes The Sun’ are works of genius by George Harrison. I think ‘Something’ is actually one of the best records ever written – it’s just amazing. And the medley on side two just works so well – it had the potential to be a self-indulgent disaster, but it’s just so ahead of its time and different. That iconic cover too.. Anyhow, just ordered it on vinyl, a great album from start to finish.
It’s Friday, sun’s shining. Bit of fun. Liam’s in the news. We are all thinking about Manchester. Was never a massive fan, but when they were good – damn they were good!
Talk Tonight Listen Up Slide Away Wonderwall Gas Panic!
Can’t be many? Here’s one – good ‘un too! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHuBrh2B5nc&feature=youtu.be
Found these really interesting – pictures of London in 1987. http://londonist.com/london/art-and-photography/in-pictures-london-in-1987?
Apparently having a good cry to music makes you feel better. I think I agree.
What brings a tear to your eye? I don’t mean because it is so bad!
For me, it’s Morrissey’s ‘I Know Very Well How I got My Name’ but I have no idea why – it’s just that ‘You think you were my first love…’ line.
Also, ‘Goodnight, Travel Well’ by The Killers, as it reminds me of my mother passing away.
Currently laid up with a virus – so have spent the last few days watching the new season of The Trip. It’s on Sky Atlantic this time, meaning you can watch them all when you want, as they’ve added them to anytime. I believe it may also be available on Now TV, for those who refuse Murdoch’s offer of entertainment. It is good, but not as good as the previous two seasons. Seemed to be missing something this time around. The ending is, frankly, bizarre. Anybody else watched?
I’d go for:
Pet Shop Boys; Actually, Introspective, Behaviour, Very
Was thinking of buying a pair of these. Does anybody own them? I’ve always been really sceptical of wireless headphones from a sound quality perspective, but I’m told these headphones have to heard to be believed. Don’t want to fork out £330 if they are naff!
It’s heartbreakingly good. https://open.spotify.com/album/7ypd9BywGTQ1fwggsZ3Fru