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Thursday, 24 April 2014

Bag A Wire

I was listening to the radio while on holiday last week (through the telly no less) and the disc jockey played Bag A Wire Dub by King Tubby. It was one of those real 'stop what you're doing and just listen' moments. King Tubby's dub is such strange music and appears to have so little in common with anything that came before it- this one has some chanting about Marcus Garvey, deep bass bubbling up and down, horns coming and going, lots of echo, rim shots. Fluid and free form from Jamaica in 1976. Otherworldly.

Bag A Wire Dub

It might be worth pointing out that the disc jockey who played it was Huey (formerly of Fun Loving Criminals) who often comes across as a bit of a knob but, fair play to him, he played some good tunes that particular afternoon.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Balearic Berkshire And A Remix

Today I offer you two Weatherall related items that popped up when I was away that you might have missed.

First a twenty minute documentary about the late 80s Berkshire acid house scene, documenting the spread of house music, clubbing, drugs and loose fit clothing from the Balearic islands to the Home Counties, a scene Mr Weatherall was an early part of- Shoom, Boys Own, Terry Farley and Primal Scream all included. It's highly recommended and a great watch, the pictures and footage especially. It's also amazing both how long ago it all looks and how beautifully romantic it all seems, as your past is served up as history. You can find it here courtesy of Dazed Digital.

And from the old days to bang up to date, there's a remix of the very recent Asphodells and Friendly Fires track Before Your Eyes by Jack Savidge- a banger for the dance floor, free download.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014


Back home, back to work, back to the blogging...

I'm a bit pushed for time having driven from the Kent coast to Manchester yesterday so you'll have to wait until later in the week for any tales of adventures in the garden of England.

This is a picture of Darrow Fletcher. Before leaving for Kent I chucked a few homemade compilation cds into the car, one of which had a long run of northern soul songs on it (acquired from the usual suspects). This song really sounded good. Darrow was a child prodigy who had a massive run of singles in the late 60s through to the late 70s. The Pain Just Gets A Little Deeper was released in 1966 and was apparently a favourite at The Twisted Wheel. Listen to this and it's easy to see why.

Darrow Fletcher is not the Manchester United and Scotland midfielder Darren Fletcher. But for us United fans as this season has gone on the pain has gotten a little deeper. Rumours abound that David Moyes may lose his job today. I think it's the right thing if he does- it's not really worked out has it? 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

September Gurl

I've never quite been able to figure out quite why Big Star are held in such high esteem by certain middle aged men. The first album baffled me when I first got it, twenty years ago. It just sounded like southern boogie to me and I expected so much more. On the other hand there are some great tunes on the second album (Radio City) and Third/Sister Lovers has got its moments.

September Gurls is an absolutely beautiful little guitar song, ragged and yearning, a real head turner (and yes, it did provide Teenage Fanclub with the template for Bandwagonesque, but that's fine). George posted September Gurls a few weeks ago, so I'll provide you instead with this cover version by The Bangles, from back in the mid-80s. They smoothed it out, glossed it up a bit, Rickenbackers chiming away.

September Gurls

Susanna Hoffs didn't actually sing September Gurls, fellow Bangle Michael Steele did. Susanna isn't a September gurl, she's a January gurl, birthday-wise. I just looked it up. It has stunned me somewhat to realise that Susanna Hoffs is 55.

As of today we're off on holiday for a week, back late on Easter Monday, so most likely I won't post anything until the Tuesday. Hopefully you can manage without my meandering waffle for a week. However, if you do happen to pop in here while I'm away you will get to look at this picture of Susanna Hoffs, so it's not all bad is it?

Saturday, 12 April 2014


I pulled this out the other day, a superb blast of punk energy from antipodean upstarts The Saints. Not that any of them looked much like punks. Which probably makes them more punk. This song, recorded and first released in 1976, was hugely influential on the early London punk scene (along with the first Ramones lp), as 7" copies made their way from the southern to northern hemisphere like spiky driftwood. Coming from Brisbane in the mid 1970s they probably did feel pretty stranded- no offence to the people of Brisbane but it is a long way away from where the action was. (I'm) Stranded is an utterly life affirming recording and one of those cases of, although they had other songs, this one song by them is all that matters.

(I'm) Stranded

Friday, 11 April 2014

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 144

1957 was a golden year for rockabilly. Brenda Lee cut several rockabilly influenced singles including this one which earned her the nickname Little Miss Dynamite. While her voice has a gravelly Wanda Jackson quality, they added some doo-wop style backing vocals, presumably to soften it for radio listeners and record buyers. The slightly unsettling thing about this song is that Brenda was about thirteen or fourteen years old when she recorded it.


Analogue Bubblebath

This is an absolutely essential record from the imagination and fingertips of Richard D James, a record that sounds like its title (a title that is a nice pair of words to speak- analogue= rhythmic with hard sounds, bubblebath= rhythmic with soft sounds). This is music that envelops and warms and is full of possibility, which ignores the structure of the popular music that came before it- no verse-chorus-verse-chorus-middle eight etc. It still has form, just a different kind of form. It also takes from rave. Really wonderful.

Analogue Bubblebath

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Stockholm Syndrome

I've never been to Stockholm. I've been to Helsinki, which was lovely. Someday I'm going to do a Scandinavian tour. I'll need to be significantly better off financially than I am now.

Stockholm was the title of the New Fast Automatic Daffodils' single from their second album (Mind Body Exit). This doesn't sound at all like the work of a Madchester band and in parts reminds me as much of Julian Cope's early 90s work as anything. Good song- this is the five minute version rather than the three minute radio edit (which probably didn't get very much radio airplay).