Thursday, 30 October 2014

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

What a Revelation !



I had pre-ordered Complete Surrender the third album by Slow Club ages ago pretty much immediately after I learned of it's upcoming release. I had really enjoyed the previous two albums and singles. When the album arrived mid July I put it in the pile below the stereo but I must admit that I wasn't dying to put it on, so as the weeks passed I duly forgot about it as new releases by Comet Gain, Jamie T and Aphex Twin vied for time on the turntable with the slow burner that was Roddy Frame's latest album.

A few weeks ago I decided to give it an airing and after listening to the first song I had to go back to the turntable and check that I had put on the correct album.  After that I decided that this album was going to require my full attention and once it was finished I was totally,  fucking gobsmacked. I really couldn't get my head round the fact that what I had just listened to was by the same duo that recorded Trophy Room. Where had Rebecca found this astonishingly full voice! The whole sound was totally different, there was a distinct lack of "tweeness".  The album has a moodiness and melancholy that was hinted at previously on Paradise but not as fully formed as on this disc. This doesn't mean that the album is a complete downer, there are enough hooks and upbeat moments to keep you happy, the Motown and Stax influences on the record are quite prominent but the sound doesn't feel contrived or forced.

The record has been played over and over since then and there seems to be  little evidence of me getting sick of it. This pair have made an absolutely outstanding album that deserves to be heard everywhere and be held up as an example of how to make proper pop music without selling your soul to the man,

I am not going to post any tracks for download, if you like what you hear on the Youtube clip below I can guarantee that you will love the album. If you are yet to be convinced check out Pieces or Complete Surrender.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Drive Me Wild



A few months ago I posted a single from Alexia Coley, well her debut album has now been released and very good it is too. There is also a cracking new single available on 7" here . It's well worth it, as along with the vinyl you also get 7 mixes emailed to you, all of which are worth having.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Packing Up



Today's slice of quality northern soul is probably the second shortest 7" single that I own clocking in at 01:45 it is still a full 43 seconds longer than the debut by The Amazing Snakeheads. What this single lacks in length it more than makes up for in style. The tempo is frantic so the duration is probably fortuitous for the least fit on the dance floor.

Packing Up is, as far as I can ascertain the only single released by Damon Fox, it's  on the Fairmont label and was released in 1966. The single in its original form is extremely rare and commands a price of seven grand, it's good but no where near that special. My copy is the Outta Sight repress from 2012.

Enjoy

Damon Fox - Packing Up.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Mellow Sunday




It's that time of the year again when John Martyn starts to spend more and more time on my turntable. Don't get me wrong, I play Martyn's music all the year round but there is just something about the darkening nights and the golds and the reds of the leaves that make me reach for Bless The Weather, Solid Air or One World. There is something about John's vocal delivery that warms the soul and no matter how wet and windy it is outside I feel comfortable and at peace. No more so than when sitting in my "listening" chair sipping a glass of good red with the song posted on the turntable.

I know, I've posted it more than once but show me a man or woman who is sick of Small Hours and I will show you a person who is dead inside.

John Martyn - Small Hours

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Keeping It Peel



Ten years. Fucking hell! It doesn't feel anything like that long.

I do remember where I was when I learned of the death of John Peel. I was in a rather nice room with a great view of the castle in the Caledonian hotel in Edinburgh. I was getting ready for one of those incredibly boring corporate evenings when you are supposed to "network" get your face known and climb the greasy pole. I just used to to get pished on the free bar, (there still were such things then),  find some late night eatery and then stoat back to my room but I digress. I heard of the dj's untimely death from Eddie Mair on Radio 4's PM. To say I was shocked would be an understatement.

Peel was like an old dependable uncle, sure one you didn't go and see ( or listen to) as often as you used to but you knew that he was still there and would be forever. To be honest I took his presence for granted and over the preceding few years had listened to him a lot less than I had done previously. You see, I had other priorities what with being married, the career and Max, listening to Peel and finding exciting new music had been  pushed right down the list. But every now and again I would tune in,  reassured that he was still fighting the good fight and if I caught wind of a new Fall session,  well I would always listen.

So that night I went to the "do" with even less enthusiasm than normal which was never that much in the first place. I have to admit I got rather angry with the ambivalence that I met with on telling others present of the terrible news. But looking back I'm not sure why I should have been surprised as in the Pharma industry a love for obscure indie, drum & bass,  reggae or death metal isn't the kind of thing that you hear discussed too much, they are all trying to out do each other as to where they went on holiday or the trek that they were just about to embark upon or other equally inane, in my opinion,  topics of conversation. My memory of the evening is a bit hazy but I do remember some fuckwit, at the end of the night hailing a taxi to take him from the Sheraton back to the Cally, all of 200 yards down Lothian fucking road.

Anyway, I have thought long and hard about who to post today and I have decided upon probably my third favourite band and one which I didn't initially discover from listening to Peel but I'm sure Big Mill was listening as he bought the first single which his brother subsequently taped for me, after listening to which I was hooked. I already loved feedback but this was a different kind of feedback a lot more chaotic and threatening than that of  Hendrix or The Who and therefore a lot fucking cooler.

I recently finished reading Zoe Howe's excellent biography of the dysfunctional brothers from East Kilbride, Barbed Wire Kisses" which had me laughing out loud on more than a few occasions but I was totally surprised by the revelation that the brothers hated their Peel sessions, all of which I have always thought to be brilliant. In the book Jim Reid states "The Peel Sessions were the worst. You knew exactly what you wanted to do, but you've got these guys who don't want you to do it"  It is disclosed that they were not allowed to play as they wished and the engineers on the show, for the first session one Mark Radcliffe,  did what they wanted to and made the band sound how they thought they should. This got me thinking, how fucking good would those sessions have sounded if the Reids had been given the freedom to do exactly what they wanted?

For today's tribute to Peel I haven't picked the groundbreaking first session or the astounding curve ball that was the third one which showed that the Mary Chain were not a one trick pony and that below all that attitude and feedback there were subtle and delicate pop songs. I have opted for the 5th session which includes one of my favourite of the band's songs and also a cover version that always makes me smile and which I don't think I am ever likely to get sick of. The session was recorded on 31-05-88 and was aired on 13-06-88.

The Jesus and Mary Chain - Side Walking
The Jesus and Mary Chain - Coast To Coast 
The Jesus and Mary Chain - Take It
The Jesus and Mary Chain - My Girl

And here is the great man introducing his favourite band

John Peel - The Fall

Monday, 20 October 2014

Gone With The Wind Is My Love



With a nod to the Northern Soul film which is released on DVD today, here is a track from the excellent soundtrack available on double cd and 14 x 7" box set. Gone With The Wind Is My Love is in my top twenty soul tracks ever. It was released on the Dore label in 1967 and as usual bombed. My copy is on the Kent Select label which was released in 2009.

Rita and The Tiaras - Gone With The Wind Is My Love

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Mellow Sunday



Its a bit dreich up here today. I am off to a charity football match today, to see the last great Airdrieonians team play a team from the supporters club. This team under the management of Alex MacDonald  took us to the heady heights of a Scottish Cup Final in 1992 and due to the fact that we were beaten in the final by the league champions the team also qualified for the UEFA cup where we drew Sparta Prague and gave a good account of ourselves over the two legs being beaten 3-1 on aggregate.  Sadly I don't think that I will ever see their likes again.

Chungking - Following

Monday, 13 October 2014

I Can't Let You Go



Here is a lovely piece of Chi-town soul from the Soul Twins released on the Sable label and that's about all I know apart from that the going price for the 7" is around £200.

It's half-term up here so we are away for a few days down to Turnberry on the Ayrshire coast, the caravan park not the 5* hotel and resort I hasten to add, so there will be nothing to see here until Friday.

The Soulful Twins - I Can't Let You Go

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Mellow Sunday


Last week's attempt at doing fuck all on a Sunday was only partially successful. L only wore it for so long and then I had to do stuff! Not much point in trying to attempt a similar course of action today, sheds needing cleaned out and cowps to be visited, still I do have five days in Turnberry, on Scotland's west coast to look forward to from tomorrow as it is the "October Week" up here.

A little bit of jazz for your lazy listening. Nice!

Miles Davis - Flamenco Sketches (alternate take)

Friday, 10 October 2014

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance



To an old favourite.

Everywhere I've looked recently there has been something about the 20th birthday of Dubnobasswithmyheadman. Which got me thinking about the first time I heard Rez, shit I thought my head was going to explode it was so fucking good, I couldn't stop grinning and wished that it had gone on twice, three times as long as it did. It was in my head for days, weeks probably even months afterwards.  Even now while typing this and listening to it through my not that shitty computer speakers I have a big grin on my coupon and I can feel the hairs on the back of my neck start to rise. Fuck! It is a truly gorgeous huge tune which for me no other dance tune comes close to even now twenty one years later. Surely not better than Someday or Acid Trax I barely hear you shout over the cascading sounds of the most beautiful machine made music. Oh yes is the reply.

Shit it's finished,  nothing else to do but to put it on again.

What was that L?

Turn it  fucking down!

Never!

Have a good weekend people.

Underworld - Rez 

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Circles



There have been more than a few albums this year that I have really got into with the live Dexys album to come and a couple of others I 'm waiting for it's not over yet. Everybody Down by Kate Tempest will be high up my end of the year round up. I don't think I had even heard of her before catching her session for Gilles Peterson in May after which I ordered the album immediately and have played it at least once a week every since. The combination of Tempest's words and Dan Carey's music is just keeps getting better with each listen. It's best to try and listen to the album as a whole so as you can follow the narrative but most of the tracks still sound great when listened to on their own.

Kate Tempest - Circles

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Like You Never Heard It Before.



At the beginning of the year I posted a track by Nick Pride and the Pimptones where I mentioned their cover of White Lines. I thought that since I had mentioned it I ought to post it. So here you go. It was on the flip of their version of  Unfinished Sympathy which is very good but I think that this is better.

Nick Pride and the Pimptones - White Lines

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

"If You're Gonna Play It Out Of Tune. Play It Out of Tune Properly"



Part nine I think.  The last entry in this series was back in August 2011.

This Perfect Day was the third single by Australian punks The Saints. It was released in the UK in July 1977 where it reached the position of 34 in the charts and earned them an appearance on Top of the Pops. I have to confess that I wasn't aware of the song until twenty one years later when it was covered by MES and the latest line-up of the band on the Peel session from November 1998. Up until recently I was not too keen on this version of the song which is very sparse even by Fall standards and much preferred the one released on the following year's The Marshall Suite, however recently I have began to favor the rawness and near rehearsal sound of the Peel session . However neither is a patch on the original which is absolutely magic.

MES as the 13th Doctor, now that would be a perfect day.

The Saints - This Perfect Day

The Fall - This Perfect Day (Peel Session 18/10/1998)