Wednesday 29 February 2012

Mobile Phones

What is it about some people that they cannot seem to function unless they've got their mobile phone switched on. I'm so sick of being on planes watching people who think that the instructions regarding when to switch on or off your phones does not apply to them. Who the fuck do they think they are? They can't be that important or they wouldn't be flying sleazyjet with the likes of me. Their phones have been switched off for an hour what the fuck is another two to three minutes going to fucking matter? But no.  No sooner has the fifteen year old pilot to be successfully knackered another undercarriage and before the stewardess has even uttered those depression inducing words " Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to Luton", half the passengers have their phones out and are frantically pressing the on button. I believe that these people are the very same gits who have the fucking shiny new cars and park in parent and child designated parking areas without having any offspring on board or deliberately across two parking spaces so that there precious fucking vehicles don't get scratched! None of us want our cars scratched with trolleys or battered by other car doors but when we see an instruction we adhere to it because we don't believe that we are fucking special and above such inconveniences as waiting another couple of minutes before telling our partners that we have landed and are on our way home or taking the risk along with everybody else whose car might not be as nice but means no less to them, of coming back to find a dent or scratch in the door or along the side of their vehicle.

And don't get me started on the clowns trying to get suitcases bigger than your average wardrobe into the overhead lockers and then blaming the cabin crew when they are not successful!

Nothing to do with the nonsense above just a single that I'm rather fond of.

Sara Lowes and the Earlies - I'm Still Waiting

Monday 27 February 2012


Here is a rather funky piece of cross over soul from 1976 to start off the week. The track was saved from obscurity by Fryer and Ian Wright and released as a 12" single on their Soul Spectrum label, a spin off of their Edinburgh club nights, in 2008. My copy is from the limited 7" inch pressing released on the SoulSeven label a few weeks ago.

I'm off to that cultural capital, Luton for a couple of days, so nothing to see here until Wednesday.

Ellipsis - People

Sunday 26 February 2012

Allo Darlin' @ The Captain's Rest

L and I went to see Allo Darlin' last Monday, a gig that we were looking forward to as the last time we saw them in the same venue, The Captain's Rest, they were thoroughly entertaining and a good night was had by all, even the two gentlemen in their sixties who were standing next to us and who randomly pick a band every month  to go and see.

So, expectations were high, even though Monday night is not what I would call an ideal night for gig going. We got to the Captain's Rest about 8 pm thinking we would be just in time to see the support. We were informed that the support weren't coming on until nine and Allo Darlin' would be taking the stage around 10 pm. My heart sank straight away realising that it was going to be a later night than I had banked for and also that the friend who was watching the boys was going to be get home a lot later then they expected.

Not many of you will by familiar with the Captain's Rest, so I will try to describe it for you. The pub upstairs is   like a lot of boozers in the West End of Glasgow, quite studenty but with the added bonus of the kind of Seafarers vibe going on. You have to go downstairs for the performance space, to call it a basement would be to place delusions of grandeur on the place, it is a windowless, dark, low ceilinged cellar which holds about one hundred or so people, so quite an intimate venue, which is great when the bands are on but between acts it is just a dim lit cramped space that tends to enhance the smell of BO. So not the kind of place that you would want to stand about aimlessly, however if you wish to get a decent view of the band that is exactly what you have to do.

So from about quarter to nine we stood about, me getting very bored, by the time that the support act, Maple Leaves,  came on they would have had to have been brilliant to have even raised a smile, needless to say they weren't and I didn't. L  liked them though and so it would seem did Elizabeth Morris who came out from back stage and stood next to me and and listened.  My teeth however started to ache due to the sheer tweeness of the music, flutes have no place in popular music! I am of course being overly harsh on the band, who seemed to be competent musicians and nice people but for me not worth standing in a cellar on a Monday night inhaling other peoples body odour for.

From the off when Allo Darlin took to the stage something wasn't quite right with Elizabeth Morris' vocals, on a few occasions she failed to reach the notes and was also out of key more than once or twice, not sure if she had a cold or not. The band sounded good and the new songs played makes the purchase of the new album essential for me. The set was quite short at around forty five minutes and with a glaring omission, she didn't sing Tallulah which was a huge disappointment..  If she had done so I would probably have left reasonably happy as it is I drove home trying to decide if it had been worth the trek on a Monday night.  A decision that I have still not made.

Here is a favourite cover by Elizabeth Morris when she was known as the Darlings.

The Darlings - You Shook Me All Night Long.

I'm off to see The Jezabels at Oran Mor tonight and I am hoping that this will turn out to be the first really good gig of the year for me.

Friday 24 February 2012

Today's track is another one of those "what the fuck is that?" moments that happened quite often in the early 90s. Unfortunately I can't remember the last time I had one of those, either I'm getting old or nothing is that good anymore. I tell a lie the other week there when I downloaded the new Burial ep I got  goosebumps and shivers down the spine but it didn't really count as a wtfit moment as I knew what it was beforehand as I had just paid for it, but I digress.

Richard D James was responsible for quite a few wtfit?s, whether it be the tune posted, Quoth, or the disturbing video for Come To Daddy to name but three. Digeridoo was released on R&S in 1992 and for me it still sounded as mad and brilliant yesterday as it did back in the day.

Have a good weekend people.

Aphex Twin - Digeridoo

For a more soothing example of Aphex Twin's work go over to Acid Ted, where Ctel has posted a couple of classic ambient tracks by the Cornish tank driver.

Thursday 23 February 2012

When I Woke Up This Morning

Keeping with the retro vibe. Here is a frantic paced piece of Hammond driven Garage Rock from the first album from The Come Ons.

The Come Ons - When I Woke Up This Morning

Wednesday 22 February 2012

Proper R&B

I've been sitting on this for a few weeks. Not sure why just never really felt like the right time

The first time I heard this I thought that it was an old R&B number that I had never heard before from around the mid to late 60's. I was half right, turned out it was a cover of an old Them number but was recorded last year.

I Can Only Give You Everything is the flip-side of Nick Waterhouse' s second single and is the sort of thing that you can imagine mods grooving in smokey clubs many moons ago. The a -side is none too shabby either. Neither track sounds like it is the product of the fresh-faced 24 year old, San Francisco Bay Area resident you will find here. The single is available from Innovate Leisure and there is an ep on iTunes containing both tracks on the single, however I think that it is only available to those in the States for some reason. Not sure if it is getting a release this side of the pond.

Nick Waterhouse - I Can Only Give You Everything

Tuesday 21 February 2012

I'm sure it will be the same for most of the people who read this blog that certain songs transport you back to another time as soon as you hear them and others remind you of places , your bedroom in your parents house, an old girlfriend's place or a favourite holiday destination.

Today's track along with a few others most notably Another Girl, Another Planet takes me back to Stiff' s bedroom which he shared with one of his older brothers. I can see the old record player, the cabinet that housed the records and the invisible but fully understood demarcation line which separated the room.

Many an hour was spent there rifling through W's records when he wasn't there. Then ensuring that the vinyl was put back in the inner sleeve the correct way and that sleeve correctly inserted into the outer sleeve, other wise we would be sussed out straight away. It was also where we heard all of the new releases by the likes of Elvis Costello for the first time and also Stuart Adamson's first single as Big Country after the Skids split.

But as I said above this record more than most remind me of there, which is strange as I'm not sure it was one that was played all that often.

Happy days.

The Jags - Back Of My Hand

Monday 20 February 2012

No Deposit No Return

After yesterday's slip into the now, it's back to safer ground, or is it? I bet that there will be a few purists who will look at today's choice with disdain.

Debbie Taylor has featured here before with a more "conventional" northern track, Don't Nobody Mess With My Baby" released on the NYC label GWP.

No Deposit No Return is a different beast entirely, recorded in 1972 it was played at the Mecca in Blackpool as a new release and is another illustration of how it is almost impossible to pin down just what constitutes a northern soul track.

Debbie Taylor - No Deposit No Return

Sunday 19 February 2012

I Think I May Be Losing It

I don't know where I heard this first but I am slightly disturbed that I love it. It also has Max's seal of approval. I fear I may be regressing to an eight year old.

Hopefully po-faced music snobbery will resume shortly!

Nicki Minaj- Super Bass

Saturday 18 February 2012

Secret Circuit

Here's something which I have no idea how to categorise, synth wave?, possibly.  It comes courtesy Tim Sweeney's  New York label Beats In Space and is the work of Eddie Rushca. The A- side is all analogue synths and sounds reminiscent of the early acid house tracks. The flip side is even further out there.

The 12" single comes with original artwork from Christopher Forgues and a completely pointless removable sticker which will no doubt get lost.

Secret Circuit - Nebula Sphynx

Friday 17 February 2012

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

Way back in the day before dance music fractured into a thousand genres and sub genres when you used to go clubbing you didn't go to a specific Drum & Bass, Techno, Progressive House etc, etc night. You just went clubbing and hoped that you had a decent DJ who knew his tunes. I tended to avoid anything that was described as "Balearic"as for me that description meant that the DJ didn't have enough good tunes and you were likely to hear any old pish justified by "it gets played in ebeefa, alright". No amount of considered argument will ever convince me that I Can't Wait by Mandy Smith is anything else than pish, no matter the context it was played in or how many doves you had necked.

But I digress. The track posted today has been described as proto drum and bass, contender for the first breakbeat/techno record. To me it is just a brilliant, ahead of it's time dance tune. From the immense bass sound to the breakbeat lifted from Bobby Bird's Hot Pants it is just about perfect, okay the Woo Alright sample started to get on my nerves but that was because it was dropped into everything after this. But twenty two years on this record still sounds the business.

Have a good weekend people.

Meat Beat Manifesto - Radio Babylon

Thursday 16 February 2012

So Here We Are

I loved this single when it came out but I found that, for me at least nothing else on the album was anywhere near as good as So We Are Here and I quickly lost interest in the band.

I think that in a couple of years I will be saying the same for Spector, whom I saw last night. I really got into  Never Fade Away at the end of last year but on the evidence of last nights performance that's the best they've got and for me it's not enough to be the future of UK indie. For a more in depth review check out The Vinyl Villain who I suspect will have a bit more of an in depth review.

Bloc Party - So Here We Are

Wednesday 15 February 2012

She Wants To Play Hearts

This came on the mp3 player the other day and as usual when Ryan Adams comes on I asked myself why don't I listen to this man more often?

I have come to the conclusion that I have to be in a very specific kind of mood or be taken by surprise, as when he pops up on shuffle. It's not the kind of music, for me anyway, that I could just stick on and listen to off the cuff. But when I do listen it is always a pleasure.

Ryan Adams  - She Want's To Play Hearts

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Monday 13 February 2012

Plagiarism or Downright Theft?

I must have played this song dozens of times but it wasn't until Saturday Night and the aid of a couple of Tanquerays that I realised just what a debt Eddie Wilson owed to Burt Bacharach and Bob Hillard's Any Day Now. It's an absolute rip-off.

Still a brilliant song though.

Eddie Wilson - Toast To The Lady

Sunday 12 February 2012

Whitney Houston

Sad, sad news

Ok, most of her stuff to me was terrible soul-lite pop which must have appealed to some, well many actually,  given the six Grammys and 170 million records sold. Every so often, however,  she would do something like the song posted below which I really did like and I would wish for more in the same vein. In fact the whole album My Love Is Your Love is pretty good.  And who can forget when she was brave enough to collabrate with Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty.

Rest easy Whitney.

Whitney Houston - My Love Is Your Love

Saturday 11 February 2012

My Favourite Girl

Scott over at Spools Paradise on Monday posted a review of the King Creosote and Jon Hopkins gig at the Celtic Connections the first of a few that I will inevitably regret not getting off my arse and getting tickets in time for.

From Scott's review it sounds that the gig was a belter . The duo finished with My Favourite Girl one of Kenny Anderson' s and also my favourite songs of his. I have this on a rather lovely packaged 10" ep released in August 2005.

Watch out for when the accordion comes in at just before the three minute mark, it is quite, quite beautiful which is something I'm not in a habit of saying.

King Creosote - My Favourite Girl

Friday 10 February 2012

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

I fucking hate February. What a bloody depressing time of year. It's bloody miserable up here about the best thing that can be said for it is that we don't have any snow. Mind you I would rather be looking out the window at snow than the awful greyness that confronts my eyes at the moment.

Also,  I'm about the skintest I've been since, well last year around this time and still two weeks to go before pay day with a couple of gigs and feckin Valentine's Day before then, so I will be starting next month brassic, double joy.

Nothing else for it but to put on a prime slab of influential Techno from one of the originators of the form and jump about like an eejit and kid on your on pills.

Energy Flash was first released in 1990 on the Transmat label in the States. It was picked up the following year by R&S and released in the UK.

Have a good weekend people

Beltram - Energy Flash

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Love Slipped Through My Fingers

There are two versions of this track out there, there is the version by Sam Williams which is very, very good and then there is the Ohio Players version which is amazing and what makes this the one for me is the vocal. When you hear Towanda Barnes sing she sounds as if she is at the point of breakdown. I love everything about it from the slightly wonky piano intro onwards, it's one of those songs that just lodges itself in your head.

It has long been on my wants list, in either form but like If That's What You Wanted it has continued to be rather elusive.

The Ohio Playes - Love Slipped Through My Fingers

Tuesday 7 February 2012

Vinyl Time

Picture the scene, it's Saturday just before noon, the breakfast dishes are done and the kitchen cleared up. Number one son is away with the better half fucking up packing some poor unfortunate's shopping in the aid of school funds. Leo is sitting at the "pooter" watching Remembrance Of The Daleks which will keep him engrossed for as long as I let him sit in front of the thing.

So,  I find myself at a loose end with nothing to do. Well there is the washing machine to load, the hoovering to be done and a few other things that I could be doing but nothing urgent.

During these rare occasions I retreat to the dinning room and put on something that I have not got round to listening to or something that I haven't listened to in ages.  It will always be on vinyl, as well,  it just feels right that when I've got the time I sit down and give an album the attention it deserves moving only the once to flip over the vinyl. After which I will go back to whatever mundane tasks need to be done happy in the knowledge that I have just listened to something the way it was intended to be listened to,  no skipping, shuffling or repeating.

On Saturday I found myself in a quandry. I had the urge to hear Pissing On Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues but that would mean playing a cd and this was 'Vinyl Time'. I decided that as I could not think of anything else I wanted to hear more, I would break the rules this once. I did toy with the idea of playing All Creatures Will Make Merry as this was re-released on lovely red vinyl last year but no, Pissing On Bonfires it had to be.

And for the next thirty eight and a bit minutes I sat on my chair and immersed myself in what is still  an amazing listen even after being heard by these ears tons of times. It feels as fresh now as it did when I first purchased it on a whim and waited ages for it to come.

If there are any of you out there that don't own a copy of this absolute gem get yourself over to Song By Toad pronto and purchase it and as much of the label's back catalogue as you can afford. Then mibbe one day they will be able to afford to do for Meursault's debut what they did for the follow up and release it on vinyl which would spare me the dilema of breaking the rules of 'Vinyl Time'.

Meursault - a small stretch of land

Monday 6 February 2012

Monday !

It's not all about songs of love's lost and yearning or the most upfront beats. Sometimes to set you up for the week ahead what ya need is some brash, bonkers bad music for bad people.

The Cramps - Bikini Girls With Machine Guns

Sunday 5 February 2012

OJe Suis Seul

A piss poor amount of the white stuff fell here overnight. Big freeze my arse, although I'm sure down south it may well be a diifferent matter and civilisation will be on the brink.

Anyhow, here is a track that I've posted before in it's Weatherall remix form. The other side however never seems to get any attention , so in the interest of balance here is The Orb and Andrew Weatherall's mix of O Je Suis seul and very good it is too.

West India Company -  O Je Suis Seul (Orient Express mix)

Saturday 4 February 2012

Stuck In A Mid 80s Manufactured Pop Nightmare

Last night I had some very weird dreams but the weirdest thing of all was that they were sound tracked by terrible SAW produced pap from the mid 80s and primarily the music of the tea boy Rick Astley. I was not aware that I knew any Rick Astley tracks except the obvious one. I had a very troubled sleep and now am wondering what is going on in my subconscious that such rubbish is getting into my dreams.

The one good thing about the whole event is that it gives me an excuse to post a single that I picked up in my favourite charity shop before Christmas and the only SAW production that I can consciously say I liked.

The first time I heard You Think You're A Man was also my first sight of Divine on the Tube in 1984 I think. I thought that the song was rather good and the performance absolutely transfixing but never bought the record at the time. I did get a recording of it, in it's 12" form as Stiff's eldest brother had bought it and by doing so had endorsed that it was okay to like this SAW product.

The Vaselines have covered the song, some would say well but in my opinion it lacks not only the humour of the original but also and I hate to say this the production.

Divine - You Think You're A Man

Friday 3 February 2012

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

By the end of 1993 dark forces were congregation and starting to take over the dance floors of clubs all round the UK.  Previous men of good character started to find themselves drawn into this vile phenemnon.  Many a night around this time would be ruined by some protagonist of these dark arts, introducing into the middle of a perfectly good evening . . .  the Breakdown,  you could hear it coming all the way but were powerless to stop it  bang, bang, bang and then maybe some strings knicked off of a Hooked on Classics album or just a crappy little melody. You would then find yourself in a haze of BO due to almost the whole crowd standing there arms aloft worshipping one of the minor deities of TRANCE being either oh so clever or up his own arse depending on your point of view.

Horrible, horrible, horrible.

The stuff would become extremely popular and make superstar DJs out of the likes of Oakenfold, Sasha & Digweed and Warren. If I had my way I would have them up in court on charges of Crimes Against Music with the likes of Knopfler and Cowell but that's just me and my blinkered views on music.

Here is a track that I dug out a few weeks ago intending to post as I remembered it as a throbbing Progressive House track, however when I ripped it and listened to it a few times I think that it closer to Trance than is comfortable to these ears, although still not without merit.

Have a good weekend people.

Opal - The Snake

Thursday 2 February 2012

Six Figures ep

Here is a wonderful piece of Techno that brings elements of the early Chicago sounds and brings them bang up to date with the dub Techno sounds coming out of Berlin. The ep was first released in 2009 and released a couple of weeks back on a hand stamped, white vinyl white label, Rising Sun edition but still sounds as fresh today as it did nearly three years ago.

The other two tracks on the ep are equally as good.

I really love this kind of stuff.

Levon Vincent - Early Reflections

Wednesday 1 February 2012

Jasmine Kara

Stonking piece of Scandanavian Soul, released on Acid Jazz. This deserves to be huge but alas it will do nothing and the charts will still be full of cack.

Days Of Fire

Here is another thing that I found when sorting out the vinyl on Sunday, although this track was on CD single.

Behind the rather upbeat backing singer Natty describes his experiences when he was caught up in the aftermath of the murder of Jean Charles deMenezes. The Brazilian electrician was shot dead on the 22nd July 2005 after mistakenly being  identified as one of the previous day's failed suicide bombers.

Nitin Sawhney feat. Natty - Days Of Fire