Unauthorised item in the bagging area

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

I Don't Know Why I'm Telling You Any Of This

Continuing the recent Nancy and Lee theme this is Fallen by the much loved and much lamented One Dove. One Dove were Scotland's premier post acid house dub-techno band, featuring the voice of the lovely Dot Allison, also featured recently round these parts. I know Drew will disagree, saying the original Soma version of Fallen is superior, but to my ears this Weatherall version, the Nancy and Lee Mix, is by far the best. Seven or so minutes of bliss.

It's half term in England. We may be off camping for a few days, so if nothing happens here until Friday we're under canvas somewhere. Hopefully dry.

Monday, 30 May 2011

What She Came For

While in Helsinki the other day I tried to find a record shop. Stupidly I'd forgotten to research this before going to Finland. Eventually, with the help of several passersby, I ended up in Antilla, a department store with cds and - shock, horror- a fairly random selection of vinyl. I ended up with the recent e.p. of cover versions of Franz Ferdinand songs (only 9 Euros) and a nice re-pressing of The Ramones' Rock 'n' Roll High School album. The Franz Ferdinand e.p. features Debby Harry with the Franz boys, LCD Soundsystem, Peaches, Stephen Merritt, and ESG. ESG's cover of What She Came For is the pick of the bunch, their skeletal post-punk funk still rocking and bouncing thirty years after the Scroggins sisters first picked up instruments, paid for by their mother to keep them out of trouble and off the streets.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Get Good Or Stay Bad

More Lee Hazlewood anyone? Here's Run Boy Run from 1968, a lovely countryfied song about being born the wrong side of the tracks. The mp3 is ripped from a 2004 compilation called Radio Clash, given away free with Mojo, the songs being chosen by Mick Jones and Paul Simonon. Memory tells me this song was one of Paul's choices but I could be wrong and the magazine's in a box in the loft.

Gunship Diplomacy

It was somewhat traumatic last night, watching United run around unable to get the ball, nevermind then be able to do anything with it. Humbling. Hats off to Barcelona though, and I suppose no shame in losing to them.

DJ Harvey has been making and djing ambient/Balaeric/eclectic music for the last two decades and has an album out next month, DJ Harvey Presents Locussolus. This track, Gunship, is seven minutes of low-key, uptempo, electronic music with some very nice squelchy noises. The album comes complete with a Weatherall remix, two words which raise the excitement levels in the Bagging Area bunker.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Tear You Apart

Because tonight, despite his foolish behaviour, recent bad publicity, and worst kept secret of modern times, Giggs will tear you apart. Again. I hope.


While channel surfing Finnish TV one night this week a (actually the only) pop channel had a video of a Scandinavian duo doing a cover version of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood's Summer Wine. The cover version was, um, interesting, and not a patch on the original. But it's difficult to imagine how anyone could improve on this.

Finland is beautiful. The people are friendly and welcoming. Helsinki is a cool northern European city. The Finns have no word for please but are very polite- they flypost using sellotape, but wouldn't dream of removing a poster from a phonebox (as I discovered when I undid a Screamadelica live in Helsinki poster, and a bus driver shook his head). Beer is expensive- a three-quarter of a pint of Koff is over six Euros. Buying four Koff provided me with amusement though, despite the price. All in all, a wonderful place, and one I'd definitely go back to. Even though the bastard baggage handlers didn't put our suitcases on the return flight.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Sliding Away In A Washed Out Delta Sun

Mercury Rev's 1997 album Deserter's Songs came out of nowhere, and sounded like it came out of the middle of nowhere. The final track, Delta Sun Bottleneck Stomp, is a Bagging Area favourite. It manages to marry harpsichord with house-y chords, slightly desperate vocals and an end-of-night feeling. Magical really.

In other news, I'm off to Finland until Friday (with work, and responsibility for several minors), which is a little bizarre. I don't tend to get much work related foreign travel, but the chance to spend a few days in a country about which I know little and am unlikely to go to otherwise seemed too good an opportunity to miss. Back on Friday when I'll let you know what life is like on the edge of Europe.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

You Got A Lot Of Nerve

Bob Dylan will be 70 on Tuesday, and I'm getting my best wishes in early. Happy birthday Bob. This song is from 1965 and has Bob firing off his barbed wire tongue in someone's direction while his band kick up a storm. At this time he was busy inventing electricity and also looked like the sharpest dressed man on the planet.

We're Gonna Shake Up Your Sleepy Mind

Having already posted three Colourbox songs recently I wasn't going to do anymore but the mp3 player keeps chucking this up, as if it's urging me to share it, and who am I to ignore the God of the portable music device?

Arena 2 is a brilliant mid-80s, proto-house torch song- huge piano, skittering and rudimentary drum track and massive soulful vocal. It makes the hairs on the back of the neck stand up. Stunning.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Cheap Wine Time

Off out tonight, into town for birthday drinks with some friends. I think we're off to the Northern Quarter. I complained a while ago that Manchester now has more than four quarters, most of them branded areas to sell expensive properties and lifestyles, but someone pointed out that quarter probably comes from the French word 'quartier' meaning district. Ho hum.

This song- Cheap Wine Time- is from RTX, Jennifer Herrema's post- Royal Trux band. Warning- features extensive guitar soloing. In a very rough and ready way.

Drug Train

The Cramps rode a totally different kind of train, though it did have a beautiful lux interior. Take care when boarding- 'you put one foot on, then you put the other foot on, then you put another foot on...'

Friday, 20 May 2011

Didn't Like Jazz, Didn't Like Funk...

A great lost song here for you- from the end days of Big Audio Dynamite and their final album, called F-Punk, this is I Turned Out A Punk. Some wheezy garage organ, crashing punk rock riff, shambolic drumming and Mick's tale of how he turned out a punk.

'Mummy was a hostess, daddy was a drunk
Cos they didn't love me then, I turned out a punk
An ex-house full of memories, memories and junk
Never had a childhood, I turned out a punk
Then I learned to play guitar, with a plink and a plunk
I didn't like jazz, I didn't like funk
I turned out a punk'

Nothing clever or sophisticated here, just a cracking garage punk song.

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 16

Tonight's rocking rave up is equal parts hillbilly and rockabilly- Carl Belew in 1959 with a crazed song about the trials and tribulations of finding a pair of cool gator shoes. It's a must. It's also a favourite of my daughter E.T., who once had a car of seven year olds singing along.

I remember reading an interview with Keef Richards years ago. He was asked what he remembered about the making of Exile On Main Street (I think, could've been any album from the late 60s into the late 70s). Keef's response was, 'not much really, but I do remember having a really cool pair of alligator shoes'.

Thursday, 19 May 2011


Today is my birthday. 41, since you're asking. I know, where does the time go?

Today's song is possibly the greatest song The Clash wrote, which makes it probably one of the greatest pieces of post-war popular culture this country has produced. Hey, it's my birthday and I'll make wild claims if I want to. (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais is surely well known to most readers, and is the pinnacle of The Clash's 'trash reggae', has brilliant tinny production and guitars, bass playing that proves that by this Paul Simonon has learned to play and more great Joe Strummer lines skewering late 70s Britain than any one song should contain.

At the time of typing, no-one has bought me a set of Clash action figures but there's still time.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011


Why Why Why by The Woodentops took frenetic, acoustic guitar led indie rock into the acid house scene in the mid-to-late 80s, epitomising the anything goes attitude coming out of the clubs. This was generally a good thing, although as Mr Weatherall pointed out in the Primal Scream documentary a couple of weeks ago ' I went from dancing to Throbbing Gristle to dancing to Chris Rea'. This is a live version taken from the Balearic Beats compilation and is well worth several minutes of your time.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011


A blast of 7" punk rock for Tuesday from Superchunk. Released in 1990 their second single, Slack Motherfucker, is a riot from start to finish and was either the 19th best single of the 90s (according to Spin Magazine) or the 81st best single of the 90s (according to indier-than-thou website Pitchfork) with the added bonus of having a chorus you can sing silently in your head at deserving people. 'I'm working' it goes, 'but I'm not working for you...'. Use as required in the workplace or other environments.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Hello Squire

The day John Squire's second solo album came out I was in Chorlton's King Bee Records. It was on the counter and I asked the man by the till what it was like. 'Did you get the first one?' he asked. I nodded. 'It's not as good as that' he replied. This is Room In Brooklyn and it's got some cracking guitar work, as you'd expect. All the tracks on the album were inspired by Edward Hopper paintings. I still haven't got the album but I do quite like this single.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

You Can't Pull A Hold Up With A Be-Bop Gun

X-Ray Style is one of the key tracks off Joe Strummer's 1999 comeback album, Rock, Art and The X-Ray Style, recorded with his band The Mescaleros. It's a stripped back song, just some low key guitar, some bongos and Joe's vocal. Piling on typical Joe imagery (CB radio, Sub Sahara, the Mississippi, murder mile, the financial district,the Nile, a rockabilly train) he then adds 'You can't pull a hold up with a be-bop gun' but couples this piece of wisdom with 'There's people living now who ain't got no heart and ain't never had one'. The lump-in-the-throat payoff comes with 'I wanna live and I wanna dance a while'. I'm not sure he ever sounded better.

Sunday Dub

Dub is perfect for Sunday morning. This is Cloak And Dagger by Lee Perry, The Upsetters and Tommy McCook, from the album of the same name. I seem to remember reading somewhere that some people didn't rate or like this record but I can't see why. It's got all the elements of great Lee Perry dub, and is both deeply odd and very chilled.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Beautiful Love

Some records are inexplicably good. I don't know exactly what it is about Julian Cope's 1991 calypso-pop tribute to Avalon (old England I think rather than the Roxy Music album) that makes it so good, I just know that I love it.

My Big Hands

Here's the David Byrne post Blogger have lost. They've also lost the comments from the Belle and Sebastian post which is a shame. This is My Big Hands (Fall Through The Cracks), super funky pop music taken from David Byrne's 1983 album/show The Catherine Wheel. It was part of Talking Heads' Stop Making Sense show and tour.

Friday, 13 May 2011

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 15

There have been problems with Blogger. My last three posts (Belle and Sebastian, The Vermin Poets and this morning's David Byrne song) have disappeared completely. I suppose I'll just have to see if they return. You can find them at the Wordpress version of this site here if you want to.

Tonight's rockabilly is from Johnny Kidd and The Pirates, who I think really were just 60s rock 'n' roll but this song- Please Don't Touch- is full of rockabilly fire and spirit. They also had a fine line in outfits.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

We're Four Boys In Corduroys

I was reminded of this song the other day- Belle And Sebastian's This Is Just A Modern Rock Song. It came out in December 1998 and was the first piece of vinyl I bought after the birth of our first child, I.T. It starts very quietly and builds over seven and a bit minutes, not getting very much louder, but building all the same. It's got some good lines, including the sarky 'This is just a modern rock song, this is just a sorry lament, we're four boys in corduroys, we're not terrific but we're competent', which I always took to be a dig at the tailend of Britpop, and the verse where singer Stuart Murdoch summarises members of the band. It's also got Postcard Records boss Alan Horne on a very Smithsy sleeve.

I.T. spent the first two weeks of his life in the special care baby unit so getting him home was a real milestone. I bought this in a long gone record shop in Altrincham on a trip out to buy baby essentials. This song and a few others really soundtrack his first week or two at home for me, where I tried to play quiet music which wouldn't disturb or wake him, and I suppose I thought if there was always music around he'd get to love it like I do. A month later he was diagnosed deaf in both ears, so I guess playing records quietly didn't really matter that much, he wasn't hearing them anyway. This song awakens things in me I thought I'd put into jars and screwed the lids onto tightly a long time ago, but I love it regardless. To end on a slightly more upbeat note the cochlear impant I.T. had fitted at the end of January is really paying off. We've had to build the levels up slowly and he's had to get used to a completely new type of sound, but he's now hearing things he wouldn't have heard before. Which also means we've got to watch what we say around him.

This Is Just A Modern Rock Song

My Big Hands

Let's start Friday with some super-shiny, funky pop music from David Byrne. I've got a lot of time for Talking Heads. My Big Hands (Fall Through The Cracks) is from his 1983 album/show The Catherine Wheel but was also performed by Talking Heads in their Stop Making Sense phase. Top stuff.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Jeepers Creepers

Dance floor re-edit of Siouxsie and The Banshees Peek-A-Boo anyone? It's alright, quite goth funky and icy, but somehow both perfectly serviceable and somewhat pointless. By Spec apparently.

Think I may have fixed the link thing too.

Peek A Boo (Spec Goth Re-Edit)

Monday, 9 May 2011

Five Cent Deposit

Calexico's 2003 album Feast Of Wire was some kind of career highpoint, featuring the very lovely Just Like Stevie Nicks... among other songs. The cd came with three extra songs, one of them being this one- Corona. It might not be the best thing they ever recorded but it's a cover of a song by San Pedro post-punk-funk heroes Minutemen, so it can't be all bad. It even just about survived becoming the theme tune to Jackass, that programme where grown men pushed each other over and laughed.

Sunday, 8 May 2011


I was going to post something else but given events at Old Trafford this afternoon I'm going to put this up- Two Lone Swordsmen's remix of Throbbing Gristle from 2004. Weatherall and Tenniswood keep the Genesis P. Orridge vocal and give the song a techno twist. The song is called United. Purely coincidental...

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Avenue B

In 1999 Iggy Pop released Avenue B. It got some good reviews but poor sales and soon after Iggy reverted to garage punk, and eventually back to The Stooges. Avenue B was an attempt of sorts to grow up and record a mature album. There are short spoken word interludes, jazzy lounge backing tracks and meditations on mortality and divorce. And a song called Nazi Girlfriend. There's also a cover of Shaking All Over and some rockier stuff towards the end- the curse of late 90s cd-itis I suppose (80 minutes of disc, must fill it). This song- Avenue B- is one of the best. Over bongo backing Iggy sings of the view from his apartment window, and fame, death, money, loss and heartbreak. The deep crooner's voice and reflections on his life should make this one of Iggy's key solo albums. Instead it's seen as an oddity, a detour.

I'm In Love With Your Daughter

In 1990 Neil Young reunited with Crazy Horse and released the gloriously ragged Ragged Glory album, which included a cover of Farmer John (originally by 60s garage band The Premiers). Neil and Crazy Horse's Farmer John is unbelievably good- big, crunchy, stupid, fun.

Friday, 6 May 2011

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 14

This is a real humdinger of a song- Ivan's Real Wild Child from 1958. It is utterly fantastic with otherworldly guitar playing and a wonderful nasal vocal from Ivan. Ivan was Jerry Alison, one of Buddy Holly's Crickets. Recorded as a joke, he didn't want his name on it so hid behind the pseudonym Ivan. How could anyone not want their name on this? It's probably best known as Iggy Pop's only chart bothering record of the 1980s. Sadly, even Iggy can't get anywhere near the original.

Dot Dot Dot

Finding this song, We're Only Science, from Dot Allison's second solo album We Are Science gives me the perfect excuse to post this picture of Dot. Or finding this picture of Dot Allison gives me the perfect excuse to post this song, We're Only Science, from Dot's second solo album We Are Science. Either way round, this was song was also worked on by ex-Two Lone Swordsman Keith Tenniswood.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Buenaventura Durruti

I'm half way through a book about the Spanish Civil War and have just read this description of the accidental death of Buenaventura Durutti, the great anarchist leader before and during the war-

'A rumour started that Durutti had been shot by one of his own men who objected to his severe discipline. The anarchists, for reasons of morale and propaganda, claimed he had been shot by a sniper's bullet when in fact his death had really been an accident. The cocking handle of a companion's 'naranjero' machine pistol caught on a car door, firing a bullet into his chest. Durutti was without doubt the most popular anarchist leader. He had been an unrelenting rebel throughout his life and had earned the reputation of a revolutionary Robin Hood. His funeral in Barcelona was the greatest scene of mass mourning that Spain had witnessed, with half a million people in the procession. alone. His reputation was so great, not just among anarchists, that attempts were made after his death to claim his allegiance.'

During the war Durutti told his followers 'We are not in the least afraid of ruins. We are going to inherit the earth; there is not the slightest doubt about that. The bourgeoisie might blast and ruin it's own world before it leaves the stage of history. We carry a new world here, in our hearts.' Which is quite inspiring isn't it. The anarchists refused to join the Republican government- they didn't believe in government, a philosophy which contributed to divisions among the left and let the Stalin-directed communists take the reins, and Franco take power in 1939.

There's a Spanish Civil War re-enactment society called La Columna I found while idling on the net. I'm just happy such a thing exists. You can find them here-

I'm not sure I'm going to spend my weekends dressed in 1930s clothing, digging trenches and pretending to shoot fascists. But maybe I'm just not ready yet.

On to the music. Vini Reilly's band The Durutti Column have been releasing records since the late seventies, first on Factory, managed and named by Tony Wilson. Wilson took the name from a 60s Situationist poster. From their first album The Return Of The Durutti Column this is Sketch For Winter, produced by Martin Hannett. Wonder what Buenaventura Durutti would have made of the band named after him.

Mo Do

Dot Allison's Mo' Pop single from her first solo album (after leaving the still wonderful sounding One Dove) is a glorious slice of left-field pop from 1999. A kind of 60s soul-pop, Dot's breathy vocals make the verses dreamy and half asleep and the chorus a huge waking up. The follow up a few years later, We're Only Science, saw her go electro-clash. This is a cracking song.

I don't know what's going on with the way the link looks- it won't let me change it for some reason.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011


I'm voting Yes in tomorrow's Alternative Vote referendum. Although public interest has been minimal and turnout may be lucky to reach 30% the campaign has been nasty, bitchy and full of lies. Par for the course with party versus party and some party's split internally I suppose. The No campaign has been particularly shitty, one set of posters round here presenting it as a choice between an alternative voting system and a new maternity ward/ equipment for soldiers. I don't think that's the choice is it? One of the main reasons I'm voting Yes is because I can't bring myself to vote the same way as David 'Call me Dave' Cameron on anything and if so many Tories are against it, it must be the right thing to do. Of course there are other reasons but let's not weigh ourselves down with them here and now.

This is Yes by McAlmont And Butler, a coalition from 1995, a glorious, swooping, wide-screen song with huge vocals from The Right Hon. David McAlmont and very un-Suede like instrumentation from Lord of the Privy Guitar Bernard Butler.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Park In It Man

In 1988 Spacemen 3 implored us to start a revolution, with this song of the same name- a one chord revolution that would take just five seconds. Some wag suggested that they would take just five seconds to shove a suppository up their backsides, but there's no denying this still sounds pretty good. The Spaceman on the right- Jason- would go on to Spiritualized. The Spaceman on the left- Pete or Sonic Boom- would be less high profile.


The link isn't looking good but it still does the job. Something's changed or not working properly.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Moon Triplet

Moon Duo (Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada) have an excellent new album out, Mazes. Some copies of the vinyl came with an extra cd of remixes, all of which are very good. This one is by Sonic Boom (of Spacemen 3 fame/infamy). Sonic Boom monkeys about with an already psychy/krauty drone to make it moreso. Although the remixes are just numbered 1, 2, 3, and 4 this one- 1- is a remix of Scars, one of the standouts from the album. The other remixes are just as good and some get weirder and psychier.

Don't ask me what's going on with the link below. Things have gone funny here tonight. Mediafire's gone weird. Blogger's being a bit odd too. Technical issues and I'm not sure if it's me or them. Recently the powers that be deleted Beastie Boys' Dr. Lee PhD track from my account but left the earlier post of the same band's Egg Man alone. Something else vanished from my account as well, can't remember what. How many strikes does a blog get?

Frankly, I have been getting a bit dicey about the morality of this kind of music blogging over the last couple of days. The request for the full Half Man Half Biscuit gig was interesting (not the whole reason for my qualms but it played a part). I didn't start this to post full albums or full gigs, just individual songs. No real reason, that's just how it seemed to work in my head when I started out. Mr H, who has the whole gig, was uneasy about posting it- after all, it'd be obvious where the gig recording and download would have come from, and he felt HMHB might be peeved. They might not be, but you can't be sure, and without the bands' permission it didn't feel right somehow, especially as they'd been such charming and friendly guys before and after the gig. I know the theory and the justifications and the whole stick-it-to-the-corrupt-music-industry arguments but a) I know some of the stuff posted here is otherwise unavailable or out of print, but some of it isn't, b) although feedback received here tells me that tracks I've posted have led to actual, paid for download or physical sales I don't know what the proportion is and how far this justifies this, c) I'm not here to deprive people like Nigel Blackwell or Billy Childish or Andrew Weatherall or whoever out of hard earned cash but that has probably happened, d) the writing and creative side is still enjoyable, I love it, and so are the links made with many of your goodselves but I dunno sitting here tonight if this justifies giving other peoples' art away for free without their permission. Yes, it is the promotion of music, and yes some people have given permission for their stuff to be given away for free, but still... I dunno. No decisions for now, just thinking aloud.

Son House Music

This floored me when I first heard it, many years ago now- Son House, Mississippi bluesman, singing John the Revelator, just his hollering voice and handclaps. A track where you can hear the spit against the microphone and he could be in the room with you. Since then I've seen Wild Billy Childish perform this song live, his estuary English vowels shifting the song from the Mississipppi Delta to the Thames Delta. I've sometimes wondered whether a machine version could work- electronic handclaps and robotic voice- but never tried it. My idea that incidentally, if a version goes top 40 this summer.

Son House began recording in the 1920s and when The Great Depression scuppered his career he drifted into obscurity, only to be rediscovered decades later. In between he spent two years in prison after killing a man who had gone on a shooting spree in a juke joint. Son had been wounded in the leg, and shot the gunman. He was sentenced to fifteen years and served two. In 1941 he was recorded by John and Alan Lomax during their field recordings for the Library of Congress road trip, but he went undiscovered until the mid 60s when he became part of the blues boom sparked off by the British Invasion bands (he was working as a railroad porter in New York State at the time). Married five times, he died in 1988.

14 John the Revelator.wma

Sunday, 1 May 2011


I'm sure this isn't a unique or original thought but aren't all these long weekends nice? Especially combined with this early summer weather. Friday felt like Saturday, which gave Saturday an extra something. Now it's Sunday night and we're not ironing work shirts and school uniforms, and making sandwiches and lunchboxes, and mentally preparing for the working week, and all those other things that give Sunday night a depressing edge. Maybe the north European Protestant work ethic isn't all it's cracked up to be and we should be more Mediterranean with bank holidays every week or two.

In the spirit of celebrating the weekend I'm posting Flowered Up's mighty Weekender, the full 12" mix, all twelve minutes and fifty five seconds of it, with it's celebration of the weekend and gimlet-eyed realism, Quadrophenia samples and Liam Maher's hard won e-culture wisdom.

Dad 'You're barmy you are staying out all hours!'
Phil Daniels 'Ah well, don't worry I ain't gonna turn into a pumpkin am I?'

11 Weekender [12' Version][Version].wma#2#2

Some say this was Flowered Up's only moment of greatness. Not true though- It's On was good as well. Especially when it got national TV exposure on The Chart Show and the audio on the tape was all mangled. Sounded very weird. And then there's the pair of Weatherall remixes of Weekender (Audrey Is A Little Bit Partial).

Phil Daniels 'You can take that mail and that franking machine and all that other rubbish I have to go about with and you can stuff it right up your arse!'

I'm Just An Outcast

I can't believe I've not posted this before, and what better way to start merry May than with one of the greatest songs of the 60s (but least known)- Outcast by The Animals. The opening piano chords, the fuzz guitar riff, the bouncing bassline, Eric Burdon's cracking vocal, this is an absolute gem of a song, a soulful stomper and ...well, you're getting the picture. Click on the link, you won't regret it.

03 Outcast.wma