Monday, 27 March 2017
An hour and a half in the company of The Jesus And Mary Chain is a good thing at the moment. They turned on their own brand of charm on Saturday night, sounding engaged, interested and on some sort of mission. The opening one-two-three of Amputation, April Skies and Head On set us up nicely for what followed- some hits, some album tracks and some new songs. They were ragged enough for it not to seem too drilled or professional- Jim had to speak to the audience in gap after the opener due to a technical problem with William's sound and he ran out of things to say pretty quickly. They had three attempts at getting The Hardest Walk off the ground and at least one other song had a false start too. I like this slightly shambolic edge, it adds to the proceedings, remind sus of who they were. William's guitar is loud in the mix, often overpowering the rest of the group except for Jim and the snare drum, and he peels off the chords and top lines from behind his mess of hair, backlighting and dry ice. Those three sounds are what I want from a Mary Chain gig- Jim's voice, William's guitar and some drums. Teenage Lust is heavy and dark. Darklands highlights Cherry Came Too and Nine Million Rainy Days sound brittle and menacing. Some Candy Talking is fuzzy and tense, building to a staccato end. Reverence is long and overdriven. The encore brings a mini-Psychocandy, Just Like Honey, The Living End, You Trip Me Up and Taste Of Cindy before finishing with War On Peace, another new one. This slow approach to the reunion has done them some good, not rushing in and pushing it. Making an album, by their own admission a stressful experience, and managing to remain on speaking terms shows some growth. These miserable, uncommunicative but maybe now slightly more grown up middle aged men have found a way to make it work. Long may they have the blues.
Sunday, 26 March 2017
At least from today onwards until October the clock in my car will be telling the right time. British summertime starts today- you did remember to put your clocks forward didn't you? Yesterday's sunshine made it feel like the seasons had changed at a stroke. Everything feels a little better with some sun on your face.
It gives me a good excuse to post this Ultramarine song from 1991.
Saturday, 25 March 2017
While looking for something else on the net I found this picture of fans of The Cure from 1985. It was an easily obtainable look for those willing to go the distance with the crimpers.
This 1985 single by The Cure couldn't sound more like New Order if Hooky played the bass and Stephen Morris was on the drums. No mistaking the voice though, it couldn't be anyone other than Robert Smith. A song about regretting the mistakes of a love triangle and losing the girl he wanted with the finest pop melodies and the jauntiest rhythm.
In Between Days
A song I've posted before, back in 2012 it seems, making reference to the New Order comparisons. Round and round....
Friday, 24 March 2017
The new Jesus And Mary Chain album is out today, not words I necessarily thought I'd end up typing when I started this blog. I'm reasonably excited about the new album, tempered slightly by the fact that seven of the fourteen songs have been recorded and released by one Reid brother or the other in previous post-split incarnations- I've heard half of the album before, but still, new Mary Chain is new Mary Chain. This single from February is one of the new new ones and is good enough. Tomorrow night they're on at Manchester Academy and I shall be in attendance. Hopefully they'll still cut it live- they certainly did on the Psychocandy tour a couple of years ago.
Thursday, 23 March 2017
Andrew Weatherall, mentioned once or twice previously in this parish, has been back at NTS for Music's Not For Everyone.
The tracklist includes Cowboys International, Peter Hook, Siouxsie And The Banshees, a new one from himself and later on a new remix of Frank Butters by himself again, Jah Shaka, Dub Syndicate, Eat Light Become Light, Dinger and many others. Even if all I do after these shows is buy the records Weatherall makes or remixes it costs me more than I can afford.
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
Acid Ted posted about this the other day but it was on my mental list of stuff to write about and it's all in a good cause. Steve Cobby must have had some time on his hands recently. While looking back at his own Solid Doctor compilation spanning music he made and put out between 1990 and 1995 he decided to remaster it for a re-release. Then, due to his own lax methods of labelling tracks he discovered a few unreleased ones that actually sounded really good. So he's putting them out as well. The whole thing adds up to fifty eight tracks, six and a half hours worth of music, spread over six cds and now available from Bandcamp as either a cd box or a download. There is way more here than I can get my ears around at the moment, tracks ranging from properly chilled out loveliness to Balearica to 90s trip hop and to digital jazziness to fifteen minute long tranced out repetitive bliss. You just have to dive in and start swimming. This track is my current favourite- an answer phone message, some sampled Phillip Glass strings and the funkiest rhythm. Just wait for the bleepy bit at two minutes fifty and then...bye bye.
Tuesday, 21 March 2017
There was a time when I didn't really see why One Dove's beautiful and mysterious Why Don't You Take Me needed remixing, even though it was Underworld (and Secret Knowledge) doing said remixing. Weatherall's production and Dot's vocal were so right mucking around with them or removing the vocal seemed wrong. But the first Underworld remix, a slow one and a long way from the usual throbbing pulsing Emerson sound, is really good, building slowly over eleven minutes with a repeated synth part.
Why Don't You Take Me (Underworld Remix)
And the second one is nearly fifteen minutes of throbbing and pulsing and dark corners and dry ice- those hi hats and kick drums keep pushing it on and on.
Why Don't You Take Me (Underworld Up 2 Down Remix)
And while neither of them are as wondrous as the original, they exist to do a different job.