Unauthorised item in the bagging area

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Neu! Time

Krautrock (or kosmiche as it gets called now) has a reputation for being a bit difficult, a challenging listen, but much of Neu!'s output is like aural valium for me. I listened to Hallogallo the other day and felt considerably better for it- especially as at the moment the slightest thing has a tendency to make me feel like I'm about to lose it completely, swearing like a docker and stomping like a bull elephant. I've posted Hallogallo before so instead here's Isi instead- from Neu! '75, all piano and lovely warm analogue electronics with that good ole motorik drumming.


Amusingly years ago I had two of the three Neu! albums (Neu!, Neu!2 and Neu! '75) and found the one I didn't have on vinyl in HMV (which tells you it was a long time ago). I bought it, got it home and realised it was one I already had, so had to return to HMV and tell the man 'uh, um, I bought this. And I've already got it, can I change it for something else?' He looked at me like I was a total fuckwit- 'You bought it and you've already got it?' 'Yes. The sleeves are quite similar. And the song titles are all in German. And I couldn't remember which of their albums I'd got...' He did let me change it. Out of pity mainly. And my statutory rights.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Beatnik Time

Altrincham used to have a couple of record shops but in recent years has had none. Last Saturday, Record Shop Day, a new record shop opened- Beatnik Shop. I popped down yesterday with the wife and kids in tow. It's a cracking little shop, opposite the covered market and next door to the Belgian Bar (which could be handy). In their first week they've been in The Guardian and been visited by Mike Joyce. Not only does Beatnik Shop sell records (mainly second hand, a few RSD ones hanging around- mostly Aerosmith, unsold for some reason) but it also does coffee, tea and cakes, which bought me ten minutes rummaging time. There's a good amount of 80s indie and punk, 60s and 70s psych, folk and weirdness, pots of funk and soul, some wooden boxes with cds in and several boxes of 7" singles (Northern soul, indie etc). The range and quality shows it's stocked by people who know their stuff. They're promising in-shop performances and this Friday an evening in conversation with music journalist and writer Paul du Noyer. All in all a welcome addition to Altrincham, a town which has been on it's arse for a couple of years to be honest. I hope they manage to make it work. I will be back regularly I suspect. After a while I found a vinyl copy of John Betjeman's Banana Blush lp and scraped together the three quid required. The last song on it is this...

A Child Ill

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Face Time

I used to love The Face. Between the late 80s and early 00s I bought almost every copy (and many of them are in the loft, awaiting a good sifting through). Yes, it was silly, pretentious, over-the-top, often very London-centric, and over-styled. But it was also done well, trend setting, at times laugh-out-loud funny, with some really good writers, totally hit the spot at times (and completely missed the target other times), covered issues as well as music and fashion, and its front cover felt like an event- in short essential monthly reading, a frippery but worth it.

Above, the Madchester issue, in which Nick Kent made up quotes various interviewees allegedly said... and below Tricky and Martina Topley Bird

I bought a copy in summer 1987, a double sized, special edition, 100th issue I think. It tried to review the 80s- 'whatever happens now' it said, 'the decade is shaped, nothing can alter the way it looks from here'. Arf. Over the next two years acid house swept the nation, the north rose again, the Berlin Wall came down, Communism collapsed.... 

The pleasure of reading old magazines is seeing where they got it right and where they got it very, very wrong; the bands, records, trends and styles they were sure were the next big thing and are now buried in the 'where are they now?' file. I mean, no disrespect to The Farm (who at times I quite like) and I know Groovy Train was a big hit but 'How to succeed in the music business'? 

Whatever it did though, The Face was rarely boring and for a while it did document our lives (or aspects of them). 

Raving, Aliens, Vodka, Discos, Ibiza... it's got the lot.

                                                                 Mmmmmmm, Kylie.

                                                     Sorry, lost myself there for a moment...

                                         Actually I don't remember this 90s Futures Issue one at all.

I more or less stopped buying it with this issue below- I was clearly too old for it, our time together had passed and besides I began to feel they were laughing at me.

This is The High Numbers (early Who as I'm sure you know). I was going to post the magnificent Face Up by New Order from Lowlife but it's not on my hard drive and I can't be arsed ripping it at the moment. Laziness. Sorry. This is good anyway.

I'm The Face

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Monotony In Germany

It's great when you get a compilation album (Treasure Hunting in this case), put it on your portable device, and then one of the tracks you've not really paid attention to appears on the shuffle and it sounds good. This is bit of a thumping dance track from Spaniard Marc Pinol, with a sequenced bass line and a funky little guitar riff that appears after the breakdown and a Speak 'n' Spell voice intoning 'monotony in Germany', pronouncing monotony as 'mon-o-tone-e'. I thought Dirk and Walter might appreciate the sentiment at the least.

Monotony In Germany

Friday, 26 April 2013

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 102

A rockabilly revival act for Friday this week- Jack Rabbit Slim blasting it out with a Telecaster guitar sound that's straight from The Johnny Burnette Rock 'n' Roll Trio and a throat stripping vocal performance. Makes me want to go out to a rockabilly party and drink and dance til dawn. If I had any money. And if such a party existed in Sale. Maybe we should have it here- you're all invited.

Long Time Dead

And as a quiffy extra some live footage...

B Is For Black Affair

Steve Mason's 2009 side project Black Affair was an 80s electro inspired job, which was great in small doses but wore a bit over the course of an entire lp. Still, in a field of his own is Steve Mason- most people wouldn't record let alone release an album like this, so far removed from what he's known for. This was one of the highlights.


In a slightly belated tribute to United's 20th league title our picture shows Bobby Charlton, presumably in the aftermath of the Munich air disaster or an early anniversary of, with a cracking quiff. Bobby was present as a player for United's 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th league titles and he's still there, although he doesn't make the netting bulge anymore. The Premier League is a million miles from this picture. Yesterday's post-Beta Band group The Aliens had a song called Bobby's Song which I should've posted instead really.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

A Is For Aliens

Some of The Beta Band turned into The Aliens following their break-up. A million pounds owed to the record company and being pressured to accept advertising money to clear the debt, Steve Mason called time. Which caused some friction between the band's members. Steve Mason went off into various solo projects (King Biscuit Time, Black Affair, stuff under his own name). The other three, John MacLean, Gordon Anderson and Robin Jones, put out two albums of upbeat, psychedelic silliness (in a good way)- I've only got Luna from which I always liked this one.

Sunlamp Show

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

B Is For Beta

Listening to Steve Mason's recent solo album has led me back to The Beta Band. They were real one offs- maybe the only reason their second and third albums aren't given their dues is because they set their standards so high early on with the three e.p.s, later anthologised imaginatively as The Three E.P.s.

I drove to Leeds Irish Centre to see them play at some point in the late 90s, on a school night as well. We'd got free entry by claiming to be reviewing the gig for a Manchester music/arts magazine or something on those lines. It was hotter than hot inside- the sort of heat where you can feel beads of sweat running down the inside of your arm and the small of your back. This made moving difficult. And I was driving, so couldn't attack the heat with beer. Carl from Cud stood at the bar, his time long gone. The Beta Band were out of this world that night, versions of spooky trauma song Dr Baker and the trippy Needles In Your Eyes sticking in the memory for ages afterwards. And Dry The Rain of course.

Dry The Rain

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Going Back To My Roots

Richie Havens, RIP.

I think we can all agree that this is one of those tunes. It was big round these parts.

Czech It Out

Julius Fucik was a Czech journalist and member of the Communist Party who was part of the resistance against the Nazis. He was imprisoned, tortured and killed by them in 1943. He has an untouchable national hero staus in the Czech Republic. And that is a really nice jacket he's wearing. I'm sure I shouldn't boil historical events and figures down to their dress but it is a really nice jacket.

British Sea Power are one of those bands who I like but who as someone said on Twitter recently have never completely lived up to their brilliant name. They look fantastic in their 30s mountaineering garb and with branches and stuffed animals on stage. It's good when bands make an effort and BSP have always made an effort even if the songs have occasionally underwhelmed a little. This single, which is lovely by the way, was a limited edition release in 2004 and put out only in the Czech Republic and available at some gigs. It was produced in a run of 1942 copies (this being the year Nazi officer Reinhard Heydrich was assassinated by two Czech agents). The vocals are by Katerina Winterova of Czech band The Ecstacy Of Saint Theresa and the B-sides are both in Czech. Czech it out.

A Lovely Day Tomorrow

Monday, 22 April 2013


Last month Mrs Swiss and I went to see Johnny Marr at the Ritz (the Friday gig, first of two). We had a good night out, got out together (which doesn't happen very often), had a few drinks, saw a living legend. I later tweeted...

'Johnny Marr played the Ritz tonight. It was great. Crowd were a bit flat early on. Typical Mancs. Great encore. Cheers. Goodnight.'

Someone asked me recently if I enjoyed it and said I seemed a bit like I hadn't. I did enjoy it- Johnny and the band were really good- the songs off the new album worked really well live and he played several songs I've been waiting two and half decades to hear him play (I never saw The Smiths). Second song in was London, one of my  favourite Smiths songs, and it rocked. He did Forbidden City, one of my favourite Electronic songs. Bigmouth. The encore included a great garage-y version of Getting Away With It, How Soon Is Now and finished with There Is  A Light. Other than The Queen Is Dead and Get The Message what more could I want?

What spoilt it a bit, as I think my tweet hinted at was the crowd and looking at the photo above it seems like there was absolute mayhem. The Ritz is a great venue, smallish, sprung dancefloor, good sound, bars on both sides. The crowd wasn't all middle aged Smiths fans, but a mixture of those/us and younger folk. There is a problem at The Ritz that curfew is 10 pm because it turns into a nightclub afterwards, which means an early start, so less build up and expectation maybe. For the first few songs we stood two-thirds of the way back. In front of us were two couples. The two men talked to each other all the way through the songs, occasionally turning to look at the stage between songs and provide light applause. Their female partners watched the gig but these two youngish men (twenty something I guess) nattered all the way through. Between two songs I said (loudly) that there are good places for chattering, they're called pubs, but it made no difference. Why would you spend £20 on a gig ticket and pay no attention to the performance. After a while we moved further forward, much nearer the stage where it was much better. Behind me then stood the tallest man in Manchester (and I'm not exactly a short arse), who filmed almost very song on his mobile phone, straight over the top of my head. Now I have been known to look at this type of footage on Youtube and often it's a poor reminder of what a gig was like but sometimes it's worth watching. Equally I've taken the odd photo. But filming something at length with your phone instead of watching it happen seems as daft as talking all the way through. You're not in the moment. The Yeah Yeah Yeah's tried to put their feet down about this recently, Jarvis Cocker made the same point and Ian Brown admonished people at Warrington Parr Hall last year for 'making a film when you're missing making a memory'.

I guess as well as the above, several gigs I've been to recently have been utterly memorable with complete audience participation and attention throughout- The Roses at Warrington was crazy from front-to-back, people almost in tears, dancing and complete elation, Justice Tonight and Half Man Half Biscuit (both at The Ritz) were full on, Heaton Park as well (and that was 70, 000 people in a field although admittedly I don't know what it was like at the back). Sometimes Mancunian audiences can be a bit 'arms folded, come on then impress us' but Johnny Marr at a homecoming gig? So maybe I've been spoilt. I don't go to enough gigs anymore to know for sure, certainly I don't go to enough small gigs by up-and-coming bands. My brother-in-law says he won't attend anything bigger than a few hundred now, as the atmosphere at anything bigger always suffers. It can't be realistic to expect every show to be a life-changing spectacle, so maybe I should alter/lower my expectations. But audiences, and this is a familiar gripe I think, don't always contribute positively and mainly need to put their phones away and shut the fuck up when people are playing.

The Draize Train (Live 1985)

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Linotype Works

Along with Stretford's Essoldo cinema this is another of my favourite buildings of south Manchester. The Linotype Machinery Works in Broadheath, Altrincham, built (you might just be able to make out) in 1897. The building manufactured machinery to produce text (basically the machines punched into linotype and then printed from it) and exported the machines all over the world. It's grade II listed and this front part is offices today, so it appears to be pretty safe. The redbrick front with it's inlayed lettering in terracotta is brilliant and the series of parapets hides the massive brick factory building that sits behind it. The factory part is used by various businesses and most of it seems to be occupied. Which is good. A working building, still working. I was dismayed to see while driving around there today that opposite the front they're building a housing development- ugly, featureless, little boxes which will have a great view while spoiling the setting of this building themselves.

The view towards the Linotype Works from the towpath of the Bridgewater Canal, taken on my phone last year.

Down the side there is this side entrance, again with the inlayed brick lettering. There's a matching one on the canal side too. I took this pic from the car in the rain today and am a bit concerned about the wooden buttresses holding this wall up.

Sorry if this is all coming across a bit Nikolaus Pevsner. You don't need any music with this post do you?

Down On My Knees In Suburbia, Down On Myself In Every Way

Ah- England's suburbs. One of those quintessential aspects of 20th century life- net curtains, garages, lawns and lamp posts, postmen and pillar boxes, commuters rushing for the train or bus, washing the car, walking the dog and boring, rainy Sunday afternoons. Alternatively celebrated as the heartbeat of England and the epitome of dreary conformity (and imagined as a hotbed of wife-swapping). Hanif Kureishi's book The Buddha Of Suburbia was televised by the BBC back in the early 90s and David Bowie provided an album length soundtrack of songs, with this title track- which sounds surprisingly good twenty years later. It has a little self-referential Ziggy riff towards the end as a knowing joke and nod of the head.

The Buddha Of Suburbia

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Moon Trails

This sort of thing really floats my boat at the moment- Moon Duo (longhaired, boy-girl, guitar heavy, Wooden Shjips offshoot) remixed by White Rainbow as part of a whole album of remixes available exclusively for Record Shop Day along with versions by Sonic Boom and Tom Furse from The Horrors among others. As a taster this one is being given away as a free download and is worth every byte. White Rainbow strip away the guitars and send Moon Duo way off into the cosmos- trippy, far-out, wonked out,disco with some very wonky keyboard. Hmm... too many wonkys in that sentence.

As I said- free download.

Friday, 19 April 2013

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 101

 Someone in Filey has these rocking gates. If only I had a drive...

Sun Records had a stable full of fine thoroughbreds in the 50s- like Ray Smith, who's here half a century later to liven up your Friday. I for one am gladder than glad that that week is over. Work's been shite, never mind all that stuff on the news...

Right Behind You Baby

Here She Come Now Singing

Tommy James and The Shondells superb bubblegum hit from 1968 Mony, Mony- stomping drums and blasted out vocals. It even survived a mauling by Billy Idol in the 80s.

Mony, Mony

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Social Situations

Don't all rush down to Skipsea Beach Club will you.

Mark Wynn, who I previously featured here, has another new album out (well, half an album), partly concerned with the fear of social situations and that's something we can all relate to isn't it? After my last post Mark sent me a cd and a handwritten, photocopied A5 booklet that came with it. I enjoyed the booklet as much as the album- more bands should make this kind of effort rather than just put who played what and thanks to Mum/lawyers/God. Mark has a way with words, funny and caustic and a little surrealistic and also tries to cram as many of them into his songs as he can. Possibly because the songs are so short, often under two minutes, and jam packed with rapidly strummed, punky, acoustic guitars.

I don't like to just copy and paste press releases but I think this one is worth it...

Desert Mine Music will start 2013 with its debut vinyl release. The release will be an album split between The Sorry Kisses and Mark Wynn, and will be entitled 'Social Situations'. Both of each artist's sides of the album will be available separately as digital downloads.

The Sorry Kisses' contribution is their fourth release on Desert Mine Music, following 2011's 'Keep Smiling', and features their trademark fuzz-wrapped guitars, double-tracked vocals and, this time, a more relaxed Lemonheads-esque sound. The core duo of Hayley Hutchinson and Sam Forrest recorded the songs in their own home studio, the Factory Of Unprofessional Sound, in November 2012.

Mark Wynn is a recent addition to the Desert Mine roster, and 2012 saw him release no less than four albums in this time. His side of 'Social Situations' features twelve songs packed in under twenty minutes, and illustrates Wynn's knack of blending despair, humour and kitchen-sink realism in a new-found lo-fi acoustic punk setting.

The project came together after a chance meeting on Hallowe'en 2012 in their shared hometown of York, when both parties realised their fear of social situations and decided to pour their combined insecurities into creating this limited edition vinyl release on Desert Mine Music.

It comes out on Record Store Day (this coming Saturday).

This is Tooth Decay from an album called It Hasn't Got A Title Yet But When I Think Of One I'll Let You Know.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The Big E

I suppose in some ways I should be grateful to Margaret Thatcher. It was during her time that I first took an interest in politics and the news, during the Falklands War (which as a 12 year old I wasn't too clear about the rights and wrongs of) and then especially during the Miner's Strike (which I was rapidly clear about the rights and wrongs of). I should be grateful that the repeated right wing attacks on any sub-group which wasn't 'one of us' (her words) led me to develop my own thinking and views- essentially that if I could define myself by being opposed to whatever she did. As time goes on you views may change and develop but my basic political education was formed during the 1980s and the Thatcher governments. When my parents moved us from Manchester to semi-rural Cheshire in early 1987 I was stunned to discover that there were people my age who were Tories, actual Tories, who thought Clause 28 was right, who believed that the market was the be all and end all (and lost money in the 1987 crash), who believed the poor should look after themselves, and who thought she was sent from heaven to save the country from the left. Again I should be grateful for this- arguing with people, taking positions, being put on the spot, was good, educational.

I should also be grateful that so much great art came out in the 80s, that defined itself against her and against the times she created- I don't need to list them, you know who they are. The bands and writers and artists who fought back, explicitly or implicitly, and created the sounds that formed the bedrock of my musical tastes (and so many other music bloggers, middle aged men and women that we are now) And there are plenty of sociologists who'll posit the theory that without Thatcherism we wouldn't have had the brightly coloured, futureshock of acid house- the way  Detroit's music was received over here and the cultural effects; can 20, 000 people standing in a field be a political act?

Her death was curious. I didn't feel the way I'd long thought I would. None of the fuss should be a surprise- the right wing press and figures shouldn't be too shocked to discover that there are people who didn't like her and who want to protest at her funeral. She divided the country into two, for and against, and often seemed to be in open warfare against the other half, those that weren't 'one of us'. That was how she did politics- if you are a conviction politican, you can't complain when half the country have convictions against you. The press coverage has been absurdly over the top and I suspect the only way to get through today is to go nowhere near a television set, pull the blinds down, put your fingers in your ears, ignore the pomp of this massively over-the-top funeral and hope that tomorrow morning, once she is in the cold, hard ground, it has all gone away.

This is A Certain Ratio from 1990, the year she lost office (and let's not forget, her own party removed her, suddenly and ruthlessly, when it looked like power was ebbing away).

The Big E

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Made Of Film

There's a trailer for Shane Meadows' film of The Stone Roses re-union at The Guardian's website. It's a two minute seventeen seconds long trailer which makes it all look like the most exciting thing ever. Personally I can't wait to see the footage of the Warrington Parr Hall gig, which unbelievably is almost a year ago. Made Of Stone is released on the 5th of June.

Just Waiting...Hesitating

I heard Television's Marquee Moon on the radio last week- all ten minutes of it. Side One of Marquee Moon is one of my favourite Side Ones, and nothing else Television recorded matches up to it. And it doesn't matter. Sometime in winter 1989/90 myself, Mr AN and Tracy the Hippy drove to a gig in Warrington and played my cassette of Marquee Moon all the way there- See No Evil, Venus, Friction and MM sounded like the best guitar music in the world. For a band who invented punk's look (Richard Hell, departed to his Voidoids by the time of MM) and some of it's sound (Tom Verlaine) they have angular, clipped guitars but also a fluidity that marks them out as 1967 rather than 1977. Marquee Moon (the song) goes on for a very un-punk ten minutes and has an ace breakdown in the middle.

Marquee Moon

Monday, 15 April 2013

Revolving Record

A gif of an Aphex Twin record going round.
That is all.

Gansey Style

Did you know fishermen's jumpers (or ganseys to be accurate, more info at Gansey Nation) can be identified to their town of origin by the stitch? There's a Filey stitch, a Bridlington stitch, and so on.

This and many other things can be learnt at the Bridlington Harbour Museum, free entry, closed Thursdays. I don't know which stitch Weatherall is wearing in the picture above- any fishermen who are reading may be able to enlighten us.

I was listening to these two mixes recently- a pile of early Andrew Weatherall remixes, mixed together by Dr Rob. They both sounded great in the car, Part Two not a million miles from some of the recent ALFOS mixes he's done.

Part One
Primal Scream- Loaded
Primal Scream- Come Together (Weatherall Mix)
S'Express- Find 'Em, Fool 'Em, Forget 'Em (Eight Hour Mix)
The Impossibles- The Drum (Weatherall Remix)
Big Hard Excellent Fish- Imperfect List (Mix 1)
One Dove- Fallen (Nancy And Lee Mix)
Jah Wobble- Bomba (Miles Away Mix)
That Petrol Emotion- Abandon (Boys Own Mix)
St Etienne- Only Love Can break Your Heart (A Dub Mix In Two Halves)
The Orb- Perpetual Dawn (Ultrabass One)
The Grid- Floatation (Sonic Swing Mix)

Part Two
Galliano- Skunk Funk (Cabin Fever Mix)
Deep Joy- Fall (Let There Be Drums)
Love Corporation- Give Me Some Love (Weatherall Mix)
Sly And Lovechild- The World According To... (Soul Of Europe Mix)
Meat Beat Manifesto- Psyche Out (Sex Skank Mix)
Airstream- Follow Through (9 O' Clock Drop Mix)
Primal Scream- Don't Fight It, Feel It (Scat Mix)
James- Come Home (Weatherall Mix)
Stereo MC's- Everything (Everything Grooves Part 1)
One Dove- Transient Truth (Sabres Squelch Mix)

There's something on very similar lines here (thanks to Colin D for the tip off). From more recent times there's an 'exclusive mix' for a French website here, which starts off with Rodelius and then goes into some funky, weird stuff. Meanwhile Faber have appointed Andrew as Artist in Residence. There was talk in an interview somewhere recently of Weatherall writing a book, stories with illustrations and such, which could be most entertaining.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Childish Forts

I got the new 7" from Billy Childish's latest group The Chatham Forts in the post while I was away. It's very cool, sharp chords and plenty of vim, and featuring The KLF- Jimmy Cauty on bass and Bill Drummond on xylophone. Needless to say it doesn't sound anything like The KLF. This has turned up on Youtube, not as angular as the single All Our Forts Are With You, but chugs away very well...

This was The KLF's greatest moment, still sounding monumental 23 years later.

What Time Is Love?

Saturday, 13 April 2013

I Have Crow's Feet Around My Eyes

Harbour's can indeed be dangerous. The seagulls at Bridlington are pretty aggressive for a start.

Mrs Swiss and myself are off out in town today- late afternoon drinking- for my brother J's 40th birthday. Family occasion + alcohol = potential trouble, arguments at the least. Best behaviour. J is a big fan of The Fall, to put it mildly. This is Mogwai's cover of the Fall's mid-life classic Bill Is Dead (which I posted for my own 40th birthday post).

Bill Is Dead

Friday, 12 April 2013


I got back from North Yorkshire a few hours ago- 5 minutes back in Manchester and it started raining. The photo above is of the Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club in Bridlington. Brid was great- the old town bit up the top of the town was lovely and for a seaside town it isn't too tatty. The RYYC was formerly The Ozone Hotel and was the home for several months in the 1930s to Lawrence (TE Lawrence, of Arabian fame, not him out of Felt and Denim). Lawrence rejoined the RAF under an assumed name (Shaw) and spent some time testing speed boats in and around Bridlington Harbour. While I'm here a very nice woman has opened a vintage clothing shop including seafaring inspired clothes she makes herself- Wayside Flower. Nice second hand bookshop a few doors down as well. I liked Bridlington. If you're really lucky you might get some more of my holiday snaps.

Anything happen while I was away? Oh yes, Thatcher died. I can't say I was sorry but the death party stuff seemed a bit, well, distasteful. Her government was a blight on us, many of us, and I loathed her and her policies but I'm not sure about the celebrations. The press have gone way over the top the other way and the funeral's a fucking joke (and an expensive one at that). I'm guessing Elvis Costello's Tramp The Dirt Down and Pete Wylie's The Day Margaret Thatcher Died have been doing the internet rounds. Internet signal, Wifi, 3G etc was very poor, I really don't know how people up there cope. I mean, I could hardly get on Twitter all week. Sheesh.

Re: Bandwidth - my bumper Weatherall birthday post has used up all my monthly Boxnet bandwidth before the middle of April (like spending all your monthly wage by the same date- done that too). Readers last month reported some problems using Mediafire so I'm going to revert to 4Shared I think. Let me know how it works out. I (legally) downloaded Edwin Collins new album Understated before we went away and spent sometime listening to it in the caravan. I like it, and you should too. Try this one, then go and buy it.


Saturday, 6 April 2013

Audrey's Half Century

Today, April the 6th, is Lord Sabre Day, Andrew Weatherall's birthday- and today he turns 50. The top picture shows him djing in the early 90s. I'm fairly certain it was taken at Cream during the Sabres Of Paradise tour (note gear borrowed off Sandals).

Two decades later...

Having followed him since his earliest vinyl adventures, I've spent a fair amount of time over the last twenty odd years tracking down, buying, listening to, and more recently surfing for, his music. I think he's one of British music's genuine mavericks, always interesting, always on the move and always worth listening to- on wax and in print. Always looking forward but with the past in view. His remixes from the last few years are among the very best stuff he's done and The Asphodells album is a contender for album of the year so far. This is a bumper selection of  fairly randomly chosen Weatherall tracks from my hard drive to celebrate his half century...

Any brief internet/magazine biography always links Weatherall and Screamadelica. When the Scream put their collective boot on the monitor and released Give Out But Don't Give Up many felt that it was a backwards step. It was. But proving you can make a dub purse out a sow's ear, Weatherall reworked their Stonesisms into a heady twelve minute dub excursion that goes a little Screamadelica-esque in the final few minutes of this Sabres remix of Jailbird.

Jailbird (Weatherall Dub Chapter 3 Mix)

Similarly you get all the references to the artists he remixed in the early 90s. This one took that main keyboard refrain from James' second best known song and sent a thousand indie kids sprawling across the dancefloor. Confusingly there are two different names for this remix but they are I think the same mix.

Come Home (Weatherall Skunk Weed Skank Remix)

Lino Squares was one of many aliases and pseudonyms Weatherall used during the late 90s, outside Two Lone Swordsmen. As Lino Squares he put out a six track vinyl pack of minimal, electro-oriented  music. These days it's more linocuts than Lino Squares.


The first piece of vinyl to bear the Weatherall name as a solo artist was an e.p. entitled The Bullet Catcher's Apprentice- the lead track Feathers was sold to sell cars, the Ford Tipp-Ex according to Weatherall. This song featured vocals from Weatherall and lists many things that are possible- but how one should never make disco without a Stratocaster.

You Can't Do Disco Without A Strat

And he followed it with a wonderful solo album- A Pox On the Pioneers- a couple of years ago, drawing on glam, rockabilly, and post-punk. This was a dub of Fail We May, Sail We Must (from the Japanese version of the lp).

Fail We May, Dub We Must

Two years ago he remixed Clock Opera. I'm not sure I know much about Clock opera but remember reading a so-so review of their album. In fact I'm not even sure I've listened to the original track despite owning the 12". But the Weatherall remix is a gem, one of many remix gems from recent times. This is a superb piece of electronic music, crisp beats, lovely synths and a fantastic repeated bit where everything goes all wonky.

Once And For All (Weatherall Remix)

In the last few years there have been a shedful of podcasts and mixes on the internet. This one, for Fact Magazine, remains one of the best, joining the dots over the course of an hour between (amongst others) CircleSquare, Dum Dum Dum, Bert Weedon, Wayne Walker, The Monks, Stockholm Monsters, Mogwai, Durutti Column, Dennis Wilson and The Mighty Wah! Proper stuff this.

Fact Mix 85 (September 09)

Weatherall and Fairplay's Asphodells lp, Ruled By Passion, Destroyed By Lust, has been sent out to the remixers. This one sees their cover version of AR Kane's A Love From Outer Space get remixed by Mugwump- spaced out.

That should be enough to keep you going. I could have doubled the size of this post and still only scratched the surface. I don't what a luxuriantly bearded, Edwardian clothes-wearing, heavily tattooed, dancefloor and leftfield legend does for his 50th birthday but I for one will be raising a glass in his honour tonight, somewhere  in a caravan in north Yorkshire. Happy 50th birthday sir.

Friday, 5 April 2013

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 100

Rockabilly and science fiction have a rich shared pedigree, both mainstays of 50s culture along with Cold War paranoia and Cadillacs. Billy Riley recorded this rocking song for Sun Records in the 1957 with his backing band Little Green Men. That's Jerry Lee Lewis playing piano. Set phasers to stun.

Flying Saucers Rock 'n' Roll

Ramble On

It's funny- as technology improves at an ever-increasing and bewildering rate, people deliberately make digital versions of clunky old analogue. You can get Old Typewriter Font (Messy) with irregular splats and inkblots onto your PC to give the impression of using a typewriter. Just the same as putting vinyl crackle from a pre-set onto your music track I suppose.

I was going to write a long rambling post about my disgust with the Daily Mail and its repugnant attempt to make political capital out of the shocking deaths of six children at the hands of a psychopath and also about the idiocy of the benefit cuts and the knee jerk efforts by all involved to play some kind of poverty reality game (300,000 signatures on an e-petition to get Ian Duncan Smith to prove he can/can't live on £53 a week, which he either refuses to do thus proving one thing or he could do with change to spare thus proving another, and how this completely misses the point- as several folk have pointed out, living on £53 a week isn't about just one week, it's about living on that every week, week after week, and having no kind of safety net for when the washing machine breaks down or the boiler stops working or the kids need new school shoes)... and how sometimes it feels like we live in a country where life just gets a little bit worse every day (and I don't want to feel like that, I don't want to be a grumpy old man) and we're governed by people who come from a political ruling class who see politics only as a career choice, as something to do between working at a top (fill in the blank) company and leaving to take up a directorship at a top (fill in the blank) company. And it applies to all the parties I'm afraid, not just the despicable, wobbly jawed Tories.

I was also musing while drifting off to sleep the other night on the nature of this blog I write everyday and how it's changed a bit over the last year. At the start it was about 'music...and what it means to me' but more recently it's become more instant, more now- with video and Soundcloud and new release updates and all of that, and how it's now also becoming a place where I put stuff so I can find it easily (as well as share it with you) and that the nature of the writing has become less personal- but you know, not every song has a story behind it. Sometimes it's just a song I like. I've also become a prisoner of the self-imposed need to have at least a post a day- yup, like everything else, even my blog has measurable targets. We're about to go away for a week, a caravan in north Yorkshire, somewhere between Bridlington and Scarborough. I'm looking forward to the break, and while I really, really enjoy doing the blog and getting the comments and feedback from all of you, to be honest I'll be glad to have a week's break from it as well. About three weeks ago I was driving home from work and I honestly thought I had reached the end of the road- I couldn't see where the next blogpost was coming from, that I had nothing else to put up here. And since then I've written roughly thirty posts. So on it goes.

There's some rockabilly coming later and a special bumper post for tomorrow and then there'll be nothing here until next Friday or Saturday. Have fun while I'm away.

Song anyone?
Justin Robertson remixes Public Service Broadcasting's recent single Signal 30. I was a bit disappointed with Signal 30 when I first heard it although I imagine it works well live. Here Justin introduces PSB to acid house.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Hey Kid

Kid Congo Powers, one of the coolest men in surf, rockabilly, doo-wop, voodoo garage rock, has been touring recently. Frustratingly he played Manchester the same night we had tickets to see Johnny Marr. The former Cramp, Gun Clubber and Bad Seed is somewhere in Europe at the moment and the gig reviews have been top notch. This was a single a month or two back- very swampy.

Kid Congo and his Pink Monkey Birds have a new album out at the end of May (which is already looking like an expensive month for records). This was the title track off their last album Gorilla Rose (which I really liked but not as much as the previous album Dracula Boots which I loved).

Gorilla Rose

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Fight Them Back

Can you tell I'm on holiday? Posting twice a day, I should really do something more productive with my time.

I just found this from Steve Mason's new album, Monkey Minds In the Devil's Time. It sounds really good- those doleful, multi-tracked vocals from The Beta Band, the part hip-hop, part indie-dance beats. There's more going on here instrumentally than on the Boys Outside album. And he's pretty pissed off about the stuff you see on the news. Righteous anger.

Then I found the single from back in February.

Anyone got the album? I may have to add it to the list of records I need to buy.

Cut Me Deep

'A 15 track compilation LP for the price of a 7" single from Creation' read the advertising line on this 1988 record, and truth be told, I don't think there's a bad song on it- Felt, The House Of Love, MBV, Primal Scream, Pacific, Heidi Berry, Nikki Sudden, The Times, Momus, The Weather Prophets, Emily, Biff Bang Pow!, The Jazz Butcher, Razorcuts and The Jasmine Minks- and the very definition of what indie was in 1988 before it went to Manchester/Brighton, popped that pill, removed the pointy Chelsea boots, bought a wah-wah pedal and some trainers and learnt to dance. Or shuffle.

What became of the Jasmine Minks?

Cut Me Deep

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

I Remember You Well

I don't know about you but I think this is really rather good.

Fog Lane Casuals

In our early-teenage years we used to spend a lot of time in Fog Lane Park. Fog Lane Park is a large municipal park- to the north it borders Burnage, to the West Withington and to the south Didsbury. This ensured the park had a wide social mix. The fairly exclusive road Old Broadway ran into the park- Anthony H Wilson owned the last house, overlooking the park and Richard and Judy lived halfway up. Factory's HQ on Palatine Road was a ten minute walk away. Fog Lane Park had/has several tennis courts, swings, a multitude of football pitches, a pets corner and massive duck pond, and the area pictured above where a stream/open sewer ran through a  secluded tree-lined part. Fog Lane Park was also the home of the Fog Lane Casuals- tracksuit and Lois cords clad, wedge haircutted, breakdancing, football hooligans (followers of Man City- the relegation fodder City of the 80s rather than what they are now), who'd batter squirts like us as soon as look in our direction. Whether the FLC actually existed I'm now not sure, though their initials were evident in graffiti- maybe they were a mythical street gang designed to keep us on our toes and make us get home before it got dark.

Who Is It? (UK Club Mix)

Monday, 1 April 2013


New single from my current nu-disco favouites Glass Candy here- free download (thanks to London Lee for the tip off, hope he doesn't mind me re-presenting it here. Think of it as a kind of Bank Holiday Special on repeat). It's a slow burning affair with bubbling synths and Ida No's druggy vox, through the glass darkly. Which reminds me- I still need to find a copy of Warm In The Winter on vinyl.

Edit: have now purchased said vinyl, and am awaiting it's arrival. While I'm here again here's the video

Shake A Tail Feather Baby

When we were kids, and I mean under ten years old kids, we had a Dansette record player in the bedroom I shared with my brother. We also had a fairly random selection of records. These included Buggles' Video Killed The Radio Star, several flexidiscs that came free with magazines (including a 'comedy' one done by Levis about black denim), Snap! by The Jam, some Barron Knights 7" singles, The Floral Dance, a Love Me Do 7", an album of the hits of 1969 re-done by session musicians, a bunch of Madness singles and whatever cowboy/C & W records my Mum thought we might like. I'm a little hazy on the chronology- all these records may not have existed in the bedroom at the same time but it's how I remember it. In fact thinking about it, Snap! didn't come out until '83 so that's much later. The Hits of 1969 album is in some ways my earliest musical memory- Galveston, Get Back and Harlem Shuffle standout in my mind, all played note perfect but probably perfunctorily by a bunch of men getting a flat rate for a day in a London recording studio.

Harlem Shuffle was a top 40 hit for Bob and Earl in the US in 1963 but went top ten in the UK on it's re-release in 1969. It's got those opening horns (nicked by House Of Pain in 1992 and causing confusion ever since- ooh, the Harlem Shuffle horns; do I stay on the dancefloor? Nope, it's House Of Pain). Then the grinding rhythm and Bob and Earl working their way lyrically through the full gamut of early 60s dancecrazes.  Apparently it was also Barry White's first production job.

Harlem Shuffle