Unauthorised item in the bagging area

Sunday 30 September 2012

Rays Of The Rising Sun

Denise Johnson, whose vocals have graced records by Primal Scream, Electronic and A Certain Ratio, had a stab at a solo career in the early 90s with this lengthy 12" single. Sunday morning sounds, classy but it never quite catches fire. It also features the understated guitar work of Mr. Johnny Marr. She used to live round the corner from us y'know.

Rays Of the Rising Sun (12" Extended Mix)

Saturday 29 September 2012

Indeed I Do

Other people have already paid tribute to Frank Wilson who died yesterday. But it would be remiss of me not to remember the man who made a record as brilliant, as up lifting and as life affirming as this. No download- in the spirit of the most rare and expensive vinyl 7" single ever, you should go and find this yourself (it's on practically every cheap Northern Soul compilation anyway).

Country And North-Western

Tim Burgess, Charlatans frontman and 'nicest man in rock 'n' roll', has a solo album out called Oh No I Love You. It was written in collaboration with Lambchop's Kurt Wagner and is an unexpectedly pleasant, country soul surprise and much better than it should be. I don't make these claims lightly- it actually is rather good. It's recommended by Paul Weller as well- stamp of quality or kiss of death depending on your point of view I suppose. You can stream the whole thing here. After doing that (or more likely before) you can go here and get a Time And Space Machine remix of the song White for free (in exchange for your email address, which means you'll get emails from Tim or his team from now until the end of time/until you unsubscribe). The Time And Space Machine remix is good also- discofied, bouncy bass and horns and sweetly sung. Worth the email address exchange really.

Let's just not mention the hair eh?

Friday 28 September 2012

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 75

If this rocking instrumental  song from The Rhythm Rockets in 1959 doesn't get you dancing, nothing will. I shall be shimmying near the girl in the polka dot skirt.

The Slide

Trip Trip Away

I heard this the other day, pop-dance from 1990 (re-released in 1991). It sounded really good. Not that we've had any sunshine. Plenty of rainy days. I posted this song at the somewhat irregular This Blog Continues To Decline blog, unfairly as it is a good tune.

Sunshine On A Rainy Day (Extended 12" Mix)

For added joy here's Zoe on Top Of The Pops. That dancing wouldn't pass muster on a reality pop show now (and all the better for it).

Thursday 27 September 2012


S.C.U.M.'s album closer Whitechapel is a blast of goth-synth goodness; the combination of bass and keys does something to my central nervous system and the hairs on the back of my neck. I had an mp3 of them doing it on Marc Radcliffe's Radio 6 show but can't find it, and it's possibly even better than the album version. Maybe it didn't survive the last hard-drive decluttering. In which case I made a mistake deleting it. This is the version from Alone Into Eyes from last year.


Wednesday 26 September 2012

Reboot The Mission

I like Mick Jones. He seems like a decent bloke (Drew's rant about BA's use of London Calling and presumably Mick's approval notwithstanding). He loves to play live, he's accepted he didn't always behave well while in The Clash and knows he had to grow up, he moved on to another groundbreaking band (BAD), he dances like your uncle at a wedding. He put the Justice Tonight band together. He's a good guy. He's on our side.

Mick Jones has joined up Jakob Dylan's band The Wallflowers for the new single off their forthcoming album. The song, Reboot the Mission, sounds like an offcut from Sandinista or Combat Rock that could segue into 'Ring, ring, 7 am' at any moment, albeit with Bob Dylan's son on vocals. It's alright. I suspect the rest of the album will be in the American alt-rock vein- a bit Tom Petty, a bit Bruce, a bit The Hold Steady, a bit y'know the kind of thing.

From Big Audio Dynamite's Tighten Up Vol '88, a reggae influenced tale of rockers, dreads and tribes.

The Battle Of All Saints Road

Tuesday 25 September 2012

Fearless Toy

Toy have made an autumnal dash for the end of year lists with their highly enjoyable self-titled debut album, heavy on psychedelic guitars and motorik drumming and a dash of Mary Chain menace. In this remix Richard Fearless sets the controls for the heart of West Germany circa 1972, with some lovely Neu! style parts. Ist gut.

Left Myself Behind (Trans Love Energies Version)

What Augustus John would make of Toy or Fearless I don't know. I've just read a book about him. John was a bohemian portrait painter who rejected Edwardian England's formality, spending a year roaming England in a Romany caravan with his wife and mistress, who grew his hair and beard long, wearing a kerchief instead of a tie, and allowed his many children freedoms other children at the time didn't get, so it's nice to think so. I suspect even our most liberal Victorian and Edwardian forebears would struggle with some of the repetitive noises we listen to today but who knows. Wasn't Stravinsky pretty far out sonically?

Monday 24 September 2012

Dangerous Groove That Does Not Redeem The Plunge

...is the Google translation from Japanese into English from the record label- Beatink- that is plugging Andrew Weatherall's forthcoming album. Other translation gems; Rudy techno Banchou eternal, new electronics unit progression, rudy techno continue to rock the floor forever.

As well as drinking tea at festivals Andrew Weatherall and current musical partner Timothy J Fairplay (The Asphodells) have completed their first album and are releasing it in Japan on the 3rd of November.  It's called Ruled By Passion, Destroyed By Lust. Here's hoping we get a similar release date. The lucky Japanese market gets two bonus tracks. Read all about it and get more amusing translations here, as well as a listen only sneak at the song A Love From Outer Space (Version 2), The Asphodells cover of an AR Kane song, who by happy coincidence have a compilation out soon also. This is from an AR Kane remix e.p.

Crack Up (Space Mix)

Not Even The Priestess

I asked on Twitter on Saturday night if anyone had heard the new Calexico album (Algiers) and Simon said he wouldn't listen to them because of their name and Drew said he'd never heard them either and was he missing anything. Their early stuff like The Black Light was great, all slow-mo spaghetti and mariachi influenced stuff, a lot of instrumentals. A couple of albums in they became more song based, with more vocals- Hot Rail from 2000 and Feast Of Wire from 2003 were crackers, full of songs with beauty and drama and horns. At some point more recently (the Garden Ruin lp from 2006, which isn't that recent really) they abandoned the more Tex-Mexican side of things for a straighter, more mainstream US indie-noir sound which seemed far less interesting to me. So, I'm no nearer to knowing whether the new one is any good but to Drew and Simon and anyone else who hasn't heard them, start with this one- a song concerning a man about to drive his car over a cliff while listening to Stevie Nicks.

Not Even Stevie Nicks

Sunday 23 September 2012

Der Alte

This song should suit your Sunday morning; Der Alte, which shuffled up on my mp3 player recently. I didn't know what it was, who it was by or where I got it from. I still don't know where it came from but it is a sublime piece of modern house music. Interesting drum track, lovely piano riff and some synth strings. That reductive description doesn't do it justice at all- it's a fantastic track. Highly recommended. It's from 2011, by Kolsch (there should be an umlaut in there), a well regarded German tech-house producer. Which shows how close my finger is to the pulse of current dance music. But I shall be investigating further.

Der Alte

Random picture- Augustus John, Welsh portrait painter and all round bohemian. Rocking it.

Saturday 22 September 2012

Number Six

Here's our patron and musical/sartorial guide Mr Andrew Weatherall being interviewed by Emma Warren last weekend at Festival Number 6 in Portmerion. There are various rounds of this ongoing chat- Madrid, the ICA and Portmerion- you can find online. The Festival Number 6 in Portmerion looked great and despite my contacts who went getting washed out on the Sunday, the family Swiss are going to be there next year one way of another. Join us under canvas if you like.

Can I Colour In Your Hair? (Andrew Weatherall Dub Mix)

This remix (from 2009 or thereabouts but only available this year) is superb. Play loud.

Witchi Tai To

In a similar vein to yesterday's Dave Pike post and this is a beaut also. Jim Pepper was a jazz saxophonist of Native American heritage. In 1971 he released this song, based on an old Native American chant. It was later a genuine chart hit for Brewer and Shipley and in 2007 was covered by X Press 2 with that guy out of The Polyphonic Spree singing on it, remixed guitar style by Two Lone Swordsmen (one of my earliest posts). See, just like the Dave Pike record.

Witchi Tai To

This is pop-jazz/Native American fusion, over seven minutes long and contains questionable saxophone parts. You'll love it.

Friday 21 September 2012

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 74

You've got the comment king Mr DVD to blame for this one. Last week's rockabilly hero Johnny Burnette had a son, Rocky, who had a hit in 1980 with this song- Tired Of Toein' The Line. I thought it only fair that I should share it with you. No download- you're probably not going to listen to this more than once.

DVD reckons he's the only person who bought this. It was a US hit so maybe Dickie was just the only person in Yorkshire who bought it. Have a good night y'all!

Sitar Hero

A random, shuffle-function style Friday post to celebrate the end of a long, somewhat stressful week. Dave Pike is a jazz vibraphone and marimba player who's been doing his stuff since the 1950s. He's probably best known for this super-funky, sitar-led, slightly kitsch, 60s groover. Which was covered by Paul Weller and chums in the mid 90s as Indian Vibes and remixed by various folk (Richard Fearless, Andrew Innes etc). I posted the original and a remix a year or two back. Here's the original.


Thursday 20 September 2012

There's A Weapon That We Must Use

This is not exactly a re-post, more a re-write, as I've posted this song before in two variations and typed these words (or some very similar) before too. I posted Fuxa's cover version of Our Lips Are Sealed recently, as song I get obsessed with every so often. The song, as everyone must know, was co-written by Terry Hall and Jane Wiedlin while their respective bands (him The Specials, her The Go Go's) were on tour together and apparently describes their secret relationship. Both The Go Go's and Fun Boy Three released their own versions, the latter being produced by Talking Heads mainman David Byrne. The two videos are worth a compare and contrast exercise-

The Go Go's video is all summer in California, irresistible it is too...

Fun Boy Three's version is all UK, 80s shades of grey and big hair, altogether darker...

And from the 12" single...

Our Lips Are Sealed (Urdu Version)

Wednesday 19 September 2012


I've been finding myself listening to electronic/dance music more and more recently, and much of the stuff from twenty years ago just sounds better and better. In 1991 Orbital released an ep called III, containing Satan, Belfast and LC1. I was never a 'buy all the records' Orbital fan at the time but they made some undeniably brilliant tracks. This is one of them. Improve your day by giving it a spin.


Tuesday 18 September 2012

Wild Eyed Mania

Andrew Weatherall's remix of The Horror's Wild Eyed has been set against some nice visuals here.

And similar for his remix of Hardway Bros here.

I know the number of Andrew Weatherall posts here may be passing well beyond the point of tedium for some folks.

Our Own End

Sorry to spoil your day with a picture like this but...
...this is what a fuckwit looks like.

If lots of people sit an exam, and are aware in advance what the criteria are for success in that exam, and then many meet those criteria, then those people must all be successful in that exam. They have reached the standard asked of them. The exact numbers do not really matter, % this for A, % that for C. Success is measured by reaching the criteria set in advance, not by how many people fail. Which is why this man fails to understand education. His rationale is that there must be exam winners but more importantly there must be exam losers. So education must be divisive and elitist, not about teaching people to learn and improve. There are other aspects of Gove's fuckwittery I could go into but let's move on.

Acid Ted brought a song called Our Own End to our attention back in March. Its a breakbeat-fuelled thing of beauty, with apocalyptic overtones and the voice of a girl. A kind of beautiful apocalypse. I love it. The artist, Slighter, has released the song as part of a download package with various mixes (you can listen to a remix by Reef Project here). You should then go and buy the whole package here. This is the March version.

Our Own End

Apologies to Slighter for linking his song to Michael Gove.

Monday 17 September 2012

Beatnik Monday

Jack Kerouac and Joe Strummer together from a 1997 album Joy Kicks Darkness where a load of indie beat types set Kerouac to music. Sure to put a spring in your step this morning. Or a shuffle.

MacDougal Street Blues

Sunday 16 September 2012

S Is For Sabres Of Paradise

A short film here where Sheila Ravenscroft introduces John Peel's record collection, with Sabres Of Paradise standing for the letter S. Andrew Weatherall is interviewed, recalling listening to Peel under the bed clothes and turning down an interview request because he'd one or two too many.

Saturday 15 September 2012

Number 6

Portmerion is an Italianate 1920s village in North Wales, film set to 60s TV series The Prisoner, and well worth a visit if you're ever in the area. Especially this weekend. The Number 6 festival is being held there with a line-up that looks like it was put together from a Bagging Area playlist including New Order, Primal Scream, Spiritualized, Richard Hawley, Death In Vegas and, wait for it, Andrew Weatherall's A Love From Outer Space.

Obviously, I'm not able to go. We're at Alton Towers for a charity family weekend with the MPS Society (the charity that looks after children with MPS diseases and their families. That's us). I mean, the charity weekend will be good and everything, and we get to go in the theme park and use the Splash Landings water park, and it's great to see other families who live with the disease just as we do, and everything, but... well, you know. To add insult to injury at least one of my brothers is going. And a friend of mine is going. And he's borrowed our tent. Grrrrr. Curses.

Here's Death In Vegas remixed by Two Lone Swordsmen, a belting TLS remix.

Neptune City (Concrete Funk 1)

Friday 14 September 2012

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 73

No-one did 50s rockabilly better than the Johnny Burnette Rock 'n' Roll Trio. Later on, in the early 60s, Johnny had a solo pop career which is where and when this picture must be from. His 50s stuff is raw and real with the best guitar tones rockabilly ever got- (see The Train Kept A Rollin', Honey Hush, Rockbilly Boogie, all of which I've posted on a Friday here). In the meantime...

Lonesome Tears In My Eyes

All Dead Yet Still Alive

A House's Endless Art was mentioned on Twitter the other day. The Dublin band nearly had a hit with it in 1992, a list of dead artists names and dates set to music. It starts with Oscar Wilde ('All art is quite useless') and goes on with Turner, Toulouse-Lautrec, Warhol, Hemmingway, Hendrix, Yeats, Monet, Beethoven, Vicious, Tennyson, Man Ray, Henry's Moore and Miller, Presley, Miro, Bach, Brahms, Kerouac, Pollock (above), Picasso, Degas, Dali, Ian Curtis and a load more before finishing with Mickey Mouse.

It's a record I really like but I don't need to hear it that often. They got criticised at the time for having a list of endless artists that included no women (the female artists then turned up on the B-side).

Endless Art

Thursday 13 September 2012


I always quite liked Add N To X and their analogue, electronic noise, although browsing my record collection I didn't like them enough to buy much by them. Not everyone liked them- The Face once published a review of them that read 'Add fuck to off'.

Metal Fingers In My Body

Wednesday 12 September 2012

Justice Tonight

Mick Jones, Pete Wylie and The Farm have been touring for the past year as the Justice Tonight Band, in aid of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign. A number of Clash/Wylie/Farm songs performed by the Justice Tonight Band could be appropriate following today's report on the Hillsborough disaster- I Fought The Law, The Day That Margaret Thatcher Died, Stay Free, All Together Now, Clampdown....

Today the truth, tomorrow justice.
And remember, don't buy The Sun.*

I'm a Man Utd fan by the way. Today our petty rivalries mean nothing

Can Do

Sometimes I can listen to Can and think 'yep, they are massively influential and I can tell why; this is utterly brilliant, mutant, avant garde, funky, groundbreaking, krautrocking genius'. Sometimes I wish they'd written some tunes to go with all of that. But I'd rather live with them than without them. This one is off Tago Mago.

''Oh Yeah''

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Hawley Philharmonic

Richard Hawley performed a set accompanied by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra for 6 Music recently, a selection of songs off his latest album and some older ones. You can listen to it here (but only for the next few days). Introduced by Jarvis Cocker at the Great Hall at Magna near Sheffield, it's in two parts and doesn't start until about half an hour in. I'm not always a fan of orchestral versions of pop songs but this is stunning in parts. Hawley has a track record of playing in off the beaten track places, playing in gig in The Devil's Arse a few years back. The Devil's Arse is an underground cavern in Castleton, Derbyshire.

I Spy The Smiths

These I-Spy books were popular in the 1960s and 70s, supposedly to keep children from being bored on long car journeys. You had to tick off things from each page. Harder or rarer spots were worth more points. If you completed a book I think you could write off somewhere for a certificate or something.

The Smiths split up twenty five years ago last month. I was reminded of this while reading one of The Vinyl Villain's The Smiths On British TV posts (Vicar In A Tutu here). Something else occurred to me. I think The Smiths may be the only band I could complete an I-Spy page for, having seen all four members in an everyday environment. I wondered about New Order and whilst not seeing Bernard or Hooky was probably worth more points at various times in Manchester's recent history, and I've seen Stephen a couple of times, I don't think I've ever spotted Gillian Gilbert. Similarly I've seen three of four Stone Roses out and about but I  never saw Reni. But maybe no-one did.

So, The Smiths. I bumped into Mike Joyce (almost literally) a few years ago at Broadheath retail park. Broadheath retail park is as dreary as it sounds, a huge car park surrounded by sheds containing DIY shops, cheap sports goods, a McDonalds and a Toys R Us. Mike was wheeling a trolley into a DIY store as I was exiting. Or maybe it was Sainsburys in Altrincham. It was somewhere just south of here anyway. 'Sorry' I mumbled. 'That's Mike Joyce' I whispered to  Mrs Swiss. This was not too long after his court case win and I noted he was wearing a new looking leather coat.

Andy Rourke is a Sale lad, grew up not too far from here. I've seen him in town at least once, Dry Bar I think. Not too many points for a bassist are there?

Johnny Marr? Again, spotted a couple of times, the most memorable being in the late 90s in a now defunct nightclub (can't remember it's name) on Oldham Street where we'd gone to see Andrew Weatherall dj. He was playing techno, one of my party wasn't getting it at all. Johnny Marr turned up in a floral shirt and stood with his party and wife Angie not far from us. Not much frugging from Mr and Mrs Marr I'm afraid but a good points total I think.

Morrissey, whatever you think of him, must bag the most points though especially as he hasn't lived in Manchester for years and is somewhat reclusive. For some reason I'd gone with Mrs Swiss and a few friends for an afternoon pint in The Railway in Hale village, just round the corner from where CJ and his cousin N were renting rooms in a house owned by another friend. The fact that we were afternoon drinking puts this somewhere between 1994 and 1998. We ordered and took our pints into the front room,where to our surprise the only occupants were Morrissey and a big bloke with a skinhead. Morrissey glanced in our direction but largely ignored us. One of my party attempted various bits of low level attention seeking to get a reaction from Moz (putting a cagoul on with the hood up and pulling the draw strings tight around his face, etc) while the rest of us attempted to play it cool. Morrissey ignored us, chatted to his friend and then swept out. That must be worth a good few points eh?

Obviously I'd like to make it clear these are all random encounters, and not stalking.

Please, Please, Please, Let Me get What I Want (Live USA 1986)

This is a cracking live version of Please, Please, Please from the Thank Your Lucky Stars bootleg.

Monday 10 September 2012

Double X

The xx release their second album, Coexist, today. Somehow I find them an easier band to admire than to love. Their first album was impressive but I never really got into it like I should have. The sound they create, the dubsteppy stuff, the sparse guitars and bass, the space, the twin vocals, are all done very well. This is a bonus track called Reconsider. Which I'm going to try to do.

Sunday 9 September 2012

Bass Reprise

A bit more Renegade Soundwave for your Sunday evening- a version of Women Respond To Bass (an assertion that I'm no nearer to clearing up). Acid Ted's been posting a load of RS as well. You can probably squeeze some in before the closing ceremony.

Women Respond To Bass (Women Respond In Heaven)

I Went To A Party I Danced All Night

I've just remembered I was meant to be doing some Surf Sunday posts. Sorry George, I'll try harder next week.

I think it was Dirk from Sexyloser who tipped me off to this, and my mp3 player has shuffled it up twice in the last few days- Nouvelle Vague, French loungecore/bossa nova/easy listening interpretors of punk, tackling a Dead Kennedys song and turning it from a fratboy anthem into something else entirely, particularly the inspired one-off vocal.

Too Drunk To Fuck

Plus a picture of John Steinbeck looking dapper, a man who would surely never be too drunk for a bit of hows-yer-father.

Saturday 8 September 2012

Harder Than You Think

This picture shows what happens when an athlete at the top of his game wins a major event, as David Weir did a couple of nights ago at the Olympic Stadium in London.

I'm sure I can speak for a lot of people when I say I've found the Paralympics to be just about the most inspiring thing I've seen for ages. The coverage has been a little patchy by Channel 4 in terms of showing actual live action but the excitement and interest it's stirred up has been phenomenal, especially when so much of it has been about the sport itself and not just the disability. Perhaps people will start looking at disability differently. And though it seems unfair to pick any of the athletes out the performances of David Weir, Hannah Cockcroft, Ellie Simmonds, Jonnie Peacock and Sarah Storey have brought tears to the eyes. I'm just wondering if we can find an event to start training our son IT in. He'll be seventeen when Rio comes around.

Channel 4's coverage has been soundtracked by a catchy little horn sample and a fragment of voice. This began to nag at me so I googled it. It turns out it's a Public Enemy song from 2007, which made me realise I haven't bought (or possibly even heard) a new Public Enemy record since, ooh, the last century. It was just as surprising to find that Harder Than You Think is riding high in the UK charts. It doesn't surprise me that it's selling, I just didn't know we still had a chart. Here's Chuck and Flavor doing the right thing...

Which reminds me; why did 80, 000 people boo George Osbourne at the Olympic Stadium?
Because the Olympic Stadium only holds 80, 000 people.

U R Sound

This is the bosun John Vincent, from Ernest Shackleton's polar expedition ship Endurance. Nice hat, necker and jumper combination, just the thing for winter 1912/2012.

This is from Adrian Sherwood's new Survival And resistance album, dubbed out and lovely, just the thing for  autumn 2012.

U R Sound

Friday 7 September 2012

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 72

Last week's rockabilly post got clobbered by the DMCA, which I thought was a bit odd for a song released back in 1956.

Tonight's offering is from Charlie Feathers, a man who played rockabilly though this one is more hillbilly blues. The kind of low key song you can stick on the end of a mixtape after building up to dancefloor madness beforehand.

It's Just That Song

Numbers Add Up To Nothing

Cowboy Junkies Trinity Sessions album was one of those records that came out of nowhere and obsessed people for a while. A friend of mine and myself listened to little else for what seemed like ages. The follow up, The Caution Horses, wasn't too bad either but it missed the church that the previous album was recorded in. This accordion led version of Neil Young's Powderfinger is good in all the right places.

In 2004/5ish my brother-in-law's band (then called Bocca) played above a bar in Leicester (The Lamplighters I think). Long after the evening and gig had finished three of the band and myself were standing at the bar talking and we decided, seeing as the gear was still set up, to play an impromptu version of Powderfinger there and then to an audience of the barman and three bikers who'd surely ended up in the wrong bar. Emboldened by alcohol and a very small and indifferent audience we staggered/swaggered through it. I managed to remember most of the words. At the end the barman told us that was it, he was closing. As we walked past the bikers one of them said 'That was shit lads. Enjoyed it though'.


Thursday 6 September 2012

Archangels Thunderbird

Amon Duul 2 are a krautrock band I've generally given a wide berth. Unlike Can or Neu! they seem to proggy and not motorik enough. But this will do nicely.

Archangels Thunderbird

What it's got to do with four ladies from the 1920s getting ready for a variety of sports activities is anyone's guess.

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Electric Sound Of Summer

I pointed you in the direction of Fuxa back in the Spring, who recorded this beautiful, blissed out version of the Fun Boy Three/Go Go's Our Lips Are Sealed. Whispered vox, analogue keys, primitive percussion, effects.

Something reminded me of it the other day and I realised I hadn't gone looking for the album, which came out in May. It's called Electric Sound Of Summer, and that title describes it pretty well. It's got wooziness all over it, the aural equivalent of the sun going down over a beer garden when you've had exactly the right amount to drink and everything feels good. On the other hand there's a sadness about it too. The sun will soon disappear behind the trees, a chill in the air, Autumn's just around the corner. Lovely stuff.

As well as the aforementioned cover there's a ten minute version of Suicide's Cheree, a cover of a Daniel Johnston song (below) and guest spots from Dean and Britta (from Luna and Dean and Britta), Seefeel's Sarah Peacock, and members of Spiritualized, Spectrum and Spacemen 3.

Some Things Last A Long Time

Tuesday 4 September 2012

This Is Why Events Unnerve Me

New Order used to have a perfectly preserved back catalogue and legacy. They've pissed on it a bit in recent years- dodgy albums, collaborations with Scissor Sisters, bitter feuding between Bernard and Hooky, silliness, too many compilations and remixes. I don't resent them the right to continue to play and tour (I've been to see them several times since the early 2000s and loved them every time). It's just that the icy majesty they used to have has been tarnished.

Back in 1981 they regrouped following Ian Curtis' suicide and attempted to move on. Ceremony (Fac 33 Factory fans) was their debut single. In a lot of ways it's really a Joy Division song. With a Peter Saville sleeve and Martin Hannett production, using Ian's lyrics and none of the electronics or keyboards which would come to define New Order it remains a beautiful song. Deborah Curtis has said she wished they'd split for good following it's release, adding it was True Faith before she could bear to listen to them again. Amusingly Julie Burchill reviewed the single saying the lyrics were trite when compared to Joy Division. The band had to stick the JD rehearsal version through various graphic equalisers to decipher Ian's words. Two versions were released, one on March 1981 and one in September with Gillian Gilbert playing guitar. Ceremony is a great song, a JD/NO song. Later on the band would invent dance-rock. With Ceremony they're still learning to become a new band, feeling their way forward, creating something to keep them moving .

Ceremony (Alternative Version)

Monday 3 September 2012

Bass Response

Renegade Soundwave's Women Respond To Bass- a short follow up post. Here's the track at youtube- very 1992 and none the poorer for it. I may have to go seeking a vinyl copy of this.

And as Ctel pointed out in the comments box this morning, there's more Renegade Soundwave here and amazingly the links are still live over four years after the posting.

And Tedloaf likes this one. I do too.


Women Respond To Bass was the title of a 1992 Renegade Soundwave single. Unfortunately I don't have it, but the title always stuck with me. I don't know if they had any scientific basis for this claim. They formed in 1986, doing that late 80s dance thing of trying to combine house, hip hop, dub, sampling and industrial music into one dancefloor friendly noise. With a definite London edge to the vocals. Probably A Robbery was the nearest they came to a hit, reaching number 38 in 1989.

Probably A Robbery

Back to work with a bang today.

Sunday 2 September 2012

Five Man Army

It's a bit difficult to imagine now the impact Massive Attack had back at the turn of the 90s. Their debut lp, Blue Lines, had people who never normally bought that kind of thing listening to little else. On top of that, here was a British group, doing breakbeats, reggae, soul and rap properly. With Bristol accents. Almost all of that first lp is top stuff- Safe From Harm with it's massive sampled bassline (from Stratus by Billy Cobham) and paranoia, the gorgeous Hymn Of The Big Wheel, Horace Andy singing Be Thankful For What You've Got, the lighter than air Daydreaming (with Tricky).... and Unfinished Sympathy- contender for greatest British single of the decade ever, I'd have thought. This one ain't too shabby either-

Five Man Army

I don't think they've ever pulled it off again in such style, although the songs Protection (especially) and Teardrop are as good as anything on Blue Lines. But as a whole the subsequent albums didn't repeat the trick for me. Protection has good songs but doesn't feel as whole. Fallings out and shedding members they then became darker and darker, not enough light to balance things up. Angel is superb, a trip-hop Joy Division, but Mezzanine was an oppressive listen. Whereas Blue Lines was a joy from start to finish.

Saturday 1 September 2012


Future Sound Of London started out with their Expander album in 1991, a dance floor thing rather than their later ambient, off kilter, psychedelic voyage style stuff. The opening track sets the tone. Jumpin' and pumpin' techno. I can't quite work out if this sounds dated or not.