Unauthorised item in the bagging area

Tuesday 31 December 2013


All told, 2013 has been a shitty year for a lot of people and we won't be to sad to see the back of it. Here's hoping for a better one in 2014 (though whether the shift from one set of calendar dates to another should bring luck or fortune is a moot point).

This is my 472nd post in 2013, thanks for reading and contributing and have a good new year, wherever you are and whatever you're doing. Peace y'all.

2013 (Andrew Weatherall Remix)

You've probably all got this already.  If not get it before midnight.  It'll be out of date at one minute past.

Double Mick

I was listening to that BBC 6 Radio Clash show yesterday and one of Mick Jones' choices was Citadel by The Rolling Stones. Citadel is off the 1967 psychedelic disaster Their Satanic Majesties Request, an album with two, maybe three, good songs. I'd forgotten all about Citadel until Jonesey played it and it floored me, to the extent that I went to the vinyl collection, dug out Satanic Majesties (which probably hasn't been out of it's sleeve since the late 80s) and put Citadel straight on. Sneering, psychedelic garage rock. It's got a superb nasty, psych guitar riff from Keef and Mick doing what sounds like a slowed down proto- Jumping Jack Flash vocal. Add in some noise that The Velvet Underground wouldn't have turned down and you have what may well be the most under-rated song in The Stones whole back catalogue (which means all the records up to Exile On Main Street really doesn't it?).


And for the last day of 2013 here's Bagging Area favourites Big Audio Dynamite with a lovely slice of late 80s house influenced positivity, Contact.

But what on earth was Mick doing with his hair?

Contact (Club Mix)

Monday 30 December 2013

Some Of The Busiest Rhymes Ever Made By Man

Back in the olden days, when it was all fields around here, this track by Young MC was extremely popular amongst the younger folk, who used to crowd the dancefloor in their loose fitting clothing and applaud the flow of the rapper and the parts played, or rather sampled, by bass and guitar and whoop with their arms aloft.

Cos they had know how.

Know How

Apparently The Stone Roses played this record to producer John Leckie and he said 'Wow, tight band'.

Sunday 29 December 2013

This Was Radio Clash

I missed this on Boxing Day due to family commitments but it's worth catching up with today (or any day up until Thursday, readers outside the UK may need to search the internet a little deeper)- Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Topper Headon chatting and playing records for BBC6 here. Opening with Bowie's Laughing Gnome the surviving 75% of The Clash take in Adam Faith, The Meters, Afika Bambaataa, The Kinks, Desmond Dekker, Junior Murvin, Chuck Berry, Shuggie Otis, Grandmaster Flash, Arctic Monkeys and a load more besides. All three are engaging hosts and former manager Bernie Rhodes also makes repeated appearances in a disguised squeeky voiced form.

You Go To Your Girl's House And I'll Go To Mine

Eric B and Rakim's Paid In Full (the Coldcut Remix) is one of those hip-hop party records that always, always sounds great. That's not to say that one should attempt to dance to it at your youngest brother's wedding the Saturday before Christmas done up in suit and tie, possibly a little too early in the evening and there being few other dancers thus leaving yourself a tad exposed upon the dancefloor- but I like to think I got away with it. No, I don't what those people were laughing at either.

Paid In Full (Seven Minutes Of Madness- the Coldcut Remix)

Saturday 28 December 2013

Night Navigator

Something deep, dark and sexy for Saturday night, brand new from Richard Sen and remixed by Scott Fraser. Somewhere in the intersection of acid, techno and house.

A Big Hand Please

I didn't put this in my 2013 list. I can't imagine how I missed it when I listen to it now.

Tuesday 24 December 2013

Christmas Eve

                                                                Merry Christmas from 1945

It's too late- the shops are shut, apart from the all night garage and the Nisa local. If you haven't got it by now, you're not going to get it. So sit down, pour yourself a drink, put your feet up, put some music on and mute the TV.

I'll be seeing family and going away for a couple of days. To all the people who come here and read this blog, the lurkers and the shy (pop in and say hello lurkers! You just have to leave something in the comments box) and all my internet friends- Ctel, Drew, Davy, DVD, George, Charity Chic, Simon, Ally, Dirk, Echorich, Walter, Luca, London Lee, The Cynical Farmer, Anto, Mondo, Max, and any others I've missed from this list who leave the comments that make this blogging lark a two-way thing rather than just me staring at a computer screen- I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. See you in a few days.

A Poundland Christmas

In recent years Billy Childish has become part of the sound of Christmas round our way.

Black Christmas

Poly Styrene's epic reggae tinged tribute to a black Christmas (with black snow) is a must for any serious Christmas compilation cd or playlist. Your kids and relations will thank you for it in the long run.

Sorry the words have been a bit brief for the last few days. Been a tad busy and seem to be doing this on the run. Must post daily, must post daily....

Black Christmas

Monday 23 December 2013

This Is The Way I Always Dreamed It Would Be

1966, The Ronettes, with Phil Spector co-writing and producing. That's about it for words today. I've been partying/wedding attending/family gathering hosting since Friday night and feel a little bit out of sorts.

I Can Hear Music

Sunday 22 December 2013

Joe Strummer

Joe Strummer departed eleven years ago today, at the age of fifty. Let's have a drink to Joe.


Saturday 21 December 2013

Bagging Area End Of Year List

This is my list, based on what has been played the most this year in the Bagging Area bunker, that was released this year. Judging by many of the names it looks like it could have been put together in 1991 and probably won't have too many surprises for those that read this blog regularly. I really don't seem to have stuck with new stuff by new artists this year. Two of my most played pieces of vinyl in 2013 have been Kolch's Der Alte and Glass Candy's Warm In The Winter, but both came out last year. I have gone for a dozen records (albums, singles, eps, 'internet teasers'), plus a book.

Thirteen. Morrissey 'Autobiography'
As Davy said, his best work for ages. Too much on the court case but the first half is superb. Far better than it could have been and full of music. And people he's fallen out with.

Twelve. David Bowie 'The Next Day'
But especially Where Are We Now, just as it was so unexpected. And so good.

Eleven. Two re-issues (cheating I know but it's my list)- The Clash 'Sound System' and Bob Dylan 'Another Self Portrait'.
Once you strip away the lovely ephemera and trinkets from The Clash box set you are left with the best re-mastering job I've heard. And the Dylan thing was a brand new look at some previously unreleased or unloved songs, beautifully played and sung.

Ten. Peter Gordon and Factory Floor 'Beachcombing'.
Fifteen minutes of sound waves, rippling synths and Balearic loveliness.

Nine. Steve Mason 'Monkey Minds In The Devil's Time'. If only because in Come To Me and Fight Them Back Steve Mason released two of the year's most affecting, emotion-laden songs, but in two very different ways.

Eight. Johnny Marr 'Upstarts'.
A glorious upbeat guitar pop single from Mr Marr. The rest of the lp's pretty good too.

Seven. Primal Scream 'More Light'.
The more I lived with it, the better it got. Their best lp in a decade and though sprawling and heavy, it's got depth, soul and invention, and they sound like they care again. Well done to David Holmes for the production job. It's Alright It's OK- the festival song it's OK to love.

Six. Warpaint 'Love Is To Die'.
New album in January. This is the best kind of advance warning- slinky, groovy dance rock from four girls who know exactly what they're doing.

Five. Jeremy Deller 'English Magic' ep,
I love this- Voodoo Ray remixed by JD Twitch and Optimo. Steel drums, house piano, oh ooh ooh oh oh a ha yeah.

Four. A bagful of Andrew Weatherall remixes.
Emeliana Torrini's Speed Of Dark, Jagwar Ma's Come Save Me and Baris K's 200. Spaced out dance pop, with dub basslines, indie -dance, eastern dance house. Taken together almost thirty minutes of far out bliss. But most of all the stupendous remix of Moby and Wayne Coyne's Another Perfect Life. Still not out on vinyl. Why? Write to your MP now, start a petition, call the Omsbudsman. It's a disgrace.

Three. Daniel Avery 'Drone Logic'
Electronic music, techno and ambient and acid and all the rest, aimed the dance floor and the headspace. The last few songs are close to perfection, the first few will make you move your feet.

Two. my bloody valentine 'mbv'.
What still gets me about this record is the sound- the way that some things sound dead close and some sound dead far away and how much thought has gone into this. How no one else sounds anything like mbv do. new you is beautiful. And wonder 2 is the sound of a helicopter taking off at a drum and bass night,  twenty years ago and today, simultaneously. Don't know why he's abandoned capital letters but with this record he can do what he likes.

One. The Asphodells 'Ruled By Passion, Destroyed By Lust'.
Simply my most played album of the year- twelve tracks mixing up dub, early 80s punk-funk, John Betjeman, and acid house. Easy to lose yourself in, full of invention and the joy of repetitive music, I played it nonstop at the start of the year and I've been coming back to it ever since. Lovely packaging with the vinyl. As a companion piece the remix album was a beauty as well. It's about time Weatherall and Fairplay took it out on the road.

Beglammered (Justin Robertson's Deadstock 33s remix)

Friday 20 December 2013

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 131

Big 'T' Tyler kicking up a storm with his 50s rock 'n' roll song Sadie Green. He only recorded one 7" single and this was the A-side, all sub-two minutes of it. But it's there forever.

Sadie Green

I finished work three hours ago for Christmas and we're off to fiftieth birthday party tonight, followed by a family wedding tomorrow and then much of my family 'popping round' to ours on Sunday for a post-wedding get together/Christmas present exchange. I dread to think what state I'll be in by Monday. I still have some Christmas shopping to do as well. Let the festivities begin.

Upon Westminster Bridge

Upon Westminster Bridge is a poem by William Wordsworth. In said poem he did not ponder a difficult decision to be made regarding Motley Crue. Nigel Blackwell did, in the Half Man Half Biscuit song of the same name. In the HMHB song we also get a new version of The Twelve Days Of Christmas sandwiched in...

'Spoiling Good Friday my ex-love sent to me
Twelve drummers singing
Eleven chairmen dancing
Ten mascots whinging
Nine stewards flapping
Eight christening invites
Seven cows a-barking
Six vicars strumming
Nick fucking Knowles
Four boring words
Carphone Warehouse and Matalan
And a pulled up at Bangor-on-Dee'

Nick fucking Knowles. Merry Christmas.

The song has many, many other delights- dry stone wallcharts, Ken Hom wok sets, iron age hill forts, low cost school trips, Ladbrokes and the return to earth of Jesus Christ and the resulting use of No Need For Nails. It is almost the quintessential Half Man Half Biscuit Song.

Upon Westminster Bridge

The other alternative version of The Twelve Days Of Christmas familiar in this household is The Twelve Days Of Cantona (the only modern footballer that really mattered).

Are you a farmer?

At this time of year, during duller passages of play, a romp through the whole song is always entertaining at the match. 'On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me an Eric Cantona' and so on...

'Five Cantonaaaaaaas
Four Cantonas
Three Cantonas
Two Cantonas
And an Eric Cantona'

Dull is the game that goes all the way up to twelve.

I finish work for the Christmas holidays today. Halle-fucking-lujah.

Thursday 19 December 2013

Fight Them Back

News just in- Trafford Council have conceded every point in our solicitor's letter to them challenging their proposed cuts to Isaac's respite and support budget, acknowledging that the process was flawed and unlawful, that they had irrationally ignored all the professional advice received and that they had not provided any 'cogent rationale' for the cuts. We win.

Will they now reverse the cuts they have already got through to other families' budgets? Will they halt all the proposed cuts to other families in the same position as us? Or will they carry on regardless, hoping no one will notice, and see what they can get away with? Is central government keeping an eye on them and their flawed policy? Will they be rolling this pilot out next year? If so, will other councils soon be facing legal challenges too? Have Trafford's legal department been to tear strips off the people in charge at the Young People with Complex and Additional Needs department? So many questions I'd like answered. In the meantime... we will celebrate.

Cool As Carpet

Continuing my new, semi-regular feature of bands and songs names related to , um, flooring and it's Oldham's Inspiral Carpets. I used to like them and for a while shared a house with a bloke who was obsessed with them. They had a long, slow decline but some decent pop hits in 89 and 90, despite Shaun Ryder's comment that they were 'clueless knobheads'. Bit rude really. There's the MES collaboration which is good. This Is How It Feels. Commercial Rain. Directing Traffic. But they never really sounded better than on this tinny, organ and guitar garage romp, a tribute to Joe, a tramp who lived on Sackville Street in town. Although I don't think this is the earlier version off the legendary Dung 4 cassette (which I flogged on ebay recently for a fiver).


Wednesday 18 December 2013

Goodbye Johnny

I saw Primal Scream on Sunday night in what turned out be a jam-packed sweatbox. A good number of male and female middle aged fans with a surprising number of twenty something Jake Bugg lookalikes. We arrived just as Temples were finishing so I can't really comment- psychedelic pop-rock I reckon. Weatherall played a load of obscure psychedelic rock (and some dub earlier according to a mate who got in when the doors opened). I was somewhat disappointed not to see the bearded one in action though, not getting near enough to the front to notice he was in front of the stage rather than on it. So I couldn't take notes in my special Weatherall trainspotter notebook or get a photo for you.

Primal Scream came on, on time, spruce and together, and played several guitar overload songs- 2013, Jailbird, Accelerator, Hit Void. Hot and sticky, the sax and Duffy's keyboards well up in the mix. The middle section was mainly the slower, spacier songs from More Light, which settled things down a bit but bored the pants off a few of the casual gig-goers- one of whom told me 'if they don't play something I know in the next ten minutes I'm off'. And he was. A terrific, ice cool version of Autobahn 66. And then the big songs- It's Alright It's OK, Rocks, lots of extended intros and finishes, sirens galore for Swastika Eyes with Innes and Little Barrie choreographing their guitar moves stage left and right. Art-rock Scream as much as festival Scream. A crowd pleasing encore- I'm Losing More Than I'll Ever Have (which I saw them play in Planet X in Liverpool in summer 1989 and there wasn't much that night to suggest I'd still be seeing them play it 24 years later), followed by Loaded and both versions of Come Together, a full on audience singalong, Bobby milking the applause, refusing to leave the stage. Good stuff really, good stuff. It does show the problem of bands wanting to play their new stuff while still trying to keep audiences interested. Not everyone's cup of tea but we had a good time. It was very sweaty- did I mention that?

This is the video for Goodbye Johnny, featuring a load of Bobby G lookalikes lipsynching and a glamorous pair of transvestites. All filmed on an Iphone.

Tuesday 17 December 2013

Jingle Jangle Morning

Mary Lou Lord made C86 style indie. But in the mid 90s. In Canada. After starting out busking. Depending on her mood and when it suited her Courtney Love would either claim or deny that Mary Lou had an affair with Kurt Cobain. Mary Lou retired for several years due to problems with her voice but is back recording and playing again now. This song- two chord indie thrum, tons of reverb on the vox- is apparently about Kurt. Whether it is or it isn't, it is a cracking little song.

Jingle Jangle Morning

Monday 16 December 2013

Christmas Ghosts

'Let's raise a drink to the ghosts of friends we lost last year'. Amen to that.

There's a campaign on to get this single to number 1- John Robb's Goldblade and Poly Styrene (who died of cancer a few years ago) with a rollicking punk rock song City Of Christmas Ghosts, celebratory yet shot through with sadness. You can get more info here with links to downloads and you can buy the 7" vinyl at Damaged Goods. The single's for charity, in aid of St Michael's hospice, and there are many worse ways you could spend a couple of quid this week.

Sunday 15 December 2013

Check The Guy's Track Record

Anthony H Wilson presenting The Fall live in '88, on The Other Side Of Midnight. A fairly youthful Mark E and the classic Fall line up then play Big New Prinz, my favourite Fall song. Mancabilly. The wobbly nature of the VHS does not detract from the performance- if anything it adds to it. Brix Smith, in frilly green shirt, has gone on to mix in very different circles, as you'll know if you watch daytime fashion makeover TV.

This version, with Michael Clark's dancers is also making the grade. Mancabillyballet.

We are off to see Primal Scream tonight, a friend's birthday night out. Who, on a three date tour, decided that the best date for Manchester would be a Sunday night? Eh? Support is provided by someone called Andrew Weatherall, playing records apparently. Supposed to be quite good. Chances are primal Scream won't play this piece of C86ery..

Crystal Crescent

Saturday 14 December 2013

When You're A Boy

'When you're a boy
You can wear a uniform
Other boys will check you out
You can get a girl
When you're a boy'

With the great guitarist Carlos Alomar on drums. Because.


The night before last Mrs Swiss was out. I was sitting leafing through Sam Knee's A Scene In Between book, a visual history of the 80s indie scene- bowl cuts, anoraks, cord trousers, Chelsea boots, duffle coats, striped t-shirts, the back rooms of dirty pubs and photo shoots in local parks. Gideon Coe was on BBC radio 6 playing songs with a girl's name in the title, and a surprisingly good selection the first hour was too. He played The Sea Urchins' Pristine Christine single at almost the exact moment I saw the pictures of them in the Sam Knee book and I don't ignore coincidences like that when trying to come up with posts for this blog on a daily basis. Pristine Christine has out of tune vocals, jangly guitars, and rat-a-tat drumming keeping time but doing not much else. It is archetypal 80s indie-pop. It sounded wonderful on the digital radio and is quite superb.

Pristine Christine

Friday 13 December 2013

The Return Of... Oh No It's Not...It's Friday Night Is Blues Night Instead

Blues tonight. Why? No blues, no rockabilly. Here the mighty Howlin' Wolf explains what the blues is in no uncertain terms and then demonstrates it with voice, harmonica and full band. Blistering.

And for an little extra...

Smokestack Lightning (Live 1966)

Deep Shag

Last week we had Parquet Courts and parquet floors. Drew left a comment about missing a good deep shag pile carpet during the winter months. Which led to Dirk leaving a related comment and deep shags and rugs and me pondering other possible songs about flooring. And then driving to or from work this week I remembered Luscious Jackson and their song Deep Shag.

Luscious Jackson were the first signing to The Beastie Boys' Grand Royal label. Deep Shag is the only record of theirs that I own. I don't know why I own this one and not any others because despite not having listened to it since 1994 or thereabouts I still quite like it. There are 70s funk and soul vibes, with 90s beats and scratching, and a cool laid back vocal about deep shag. Seeing as shag doesn't have the connotations in the US it has here, I'm assuming it is indeed a song about carpet.

Deep Shag

And now sitting here typing this I have recalled Stereolab's The Noise Of Carpet, a short lived Weatherall project called Lino Squares and Weller's From The Floorboards Up too. This series could run and run.

Thursday 12 December 2013

Spent The Summer Holed Up In A Room

A Christmas song for you- hey, it's the twelfth of December, in two weeks it'll all be over. In 1993 St Etienne joined up with The Charlatans' Tim Burgess to record this song, a festive Europop duet. St Etienne's own Bob Stanley was born on the 25th of December 1964. I'm hoping somebody has bought me Bob's new book Yeah Yeah Yeah for Christmas.

I Was Born On Christmas Day

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Earth From Space

This stunning timelapse photography of Earth, filmed from the International Space Station at five miles per second and 240 miles up above our heads, is well worth giving just a few minutes of your time to today- and to fill you with just a little bit of awe and wonder. The sunrise at 2.04 is breathtaking (and watch out for the shots of astronaut Don Petitt at the end). Well done David Peterson. I'd choose a different soundtrack but perhaps that's just me.

Everything was going so well until Sandra Bullock and George Clooney turned up...

Tuesday 10 December 2013

Votre Cote Yeye M'emmerde

This is tres bon mes amis, tres bon. A two chord organ and guitar led groove, with thumpalong drumming, boy-girl vocals and some swearing in the title from The Liminanas- it's got everything hasn't it? Oui. Sure to brighten up your Mardi.

Monday 9 December 2013

If It's Monday Morning

Please allow Lee Hazlewood to get you up and at 'em this December Monday morning...

If It's Monday Morning

Sunday 8 December 2013


This old Gorillaz b-side, all dub influences and wheezy easy going charm, is perfect for Sunday morning. Damon sounds as listless as can be.


Saturday 7 December 2013


Warpaint seem to be gearing up for January's best release. This new song has appeared on Soundcloud and is easily the equal of Love Is To Die (which popped up a month or two ago). This has all the constituent Warpaint parts and is a dream. I'm not going to describe it- listen for yourself.


It's worth remembering (as Drew and others have pointed out), as everyone joins in to pay tribute to a great man, that admiring Nelson Mandela was once a political act.

Friday 6 December 2013

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 130

What a week- I got a (temporary) promotion at work yesterday following an interview. I am now an acting Assistant Headteacher. Yup. Tonight I am off to meet our MP, Graham Brady (Con), at his surgery in Altrincham to explain our situation to him- that Trafford Council have taken the 'irrational' decision to cut our disabled son Isaac's respite and support package by over 50% and how this is an unjust attack on a disabled child and his family. I suspect he will know little about it (Trafford Council seem to have done very well at keeping the whole thing very quiet), and maybe he'll care even less, but he represents us and he's going to hear our views and hopefully at least ask some questions. Simultaneously, we have taken legal advice and Trafford will be hearing from our solicitor shortly. When we win, I'll let you know.

Gene Maltais made several hot rockabilly records in his 1950s heyday. This was one of them.


True Is The Dream

'... mixed with nostalgia, but it's a dream that I'll always hang on to, that I'll always run to, won't you join me by the riverbank?'

This semi-psychedelic love letter to his childhood in the fields of Surrey is a song I never get tired of and shows Mr Weller, even as the sharp mod and angry young man of the early 80s, could hit the nostalgia button as well as the next man. Especially when childhood is compared to the travails of adult life- 'now life is so critical, life is too cynical, we lose our innocence, we lose our very soul'

Wonderful stuff. And not a million miles in tone and tune from his solo comeback (as the shortlived Paul Weller Movement) in 1992, Into Tomorrow. At one point I saw the 12" of this in Vinyl Exchange for £40. I was one of the few who bought it when it came out.

Thursday 5 December 2013

Tomorrow Your Heart

These four young ladies were Honey Ltd, discovered by Lee Hazlewood in Los Angeles in the 60s and signed to his Lee Hazlewood Industries label. Lee named the band, put them in the studio, recorded them and launched their honey-clad vocals into the cut throat world of 1960s pop. After which, a quick fade into nothing. Our Mums probably looked something like this forty odd years ago.

Honey Ltd have recently been re-issued in their own right and as part of a mammoth LHI boxed set (everything Lee Hazlewood's record label put out in one box, from a time when money wasn't an issue). Lee moved to Sweden in the 70s (by which time money had become an issue) and spent much of the rest of his life there.

Tomorrow Your Heart

Wednesday 4 December 2013

One Minute's Remix

A little additional Weatherall/Asphodells post for those of you who might be interested in such things- a remix of One Minute's Silence by Andrew Weatherall's brother Ian (who once traded musically as the Sons Of Slough). Adds some thumping live sounding drums and dense guitars.

Parquet Floor

I was thinking only the other day how little new guitar music I listen to at the moment (going back months, all year maybe). Then I heard this song by Parquet Courts. Great ramshackle guitar riff, buckets of  energy and Lou Reed style vocal delivery. It's not going to change the world or anything but I'm quite partial to it right now. Admittedly I haven't heard the whole lp yet but I will especially as I've also just noticed Piccadilly Records have made it their album of the year.

Furthermore, I do like a parquet floor. What's your favourite type of flooring?

Master Of My Craft

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Weatherall Transmission

Lord Sabre was back at the Beeb last Friday night for another outing of his 6 Mix residency and an outstanding mix it was, largely electronic plus some dubby reggae. It also had not one, not two, but three brand new AW remixes including one of primal Scream and one of 80s jazz funkateers Blue Rondo A La Turk. You can listen to it for the next few days here. After that you'll probably find someone has uploaded it to Soundcloud. Two hours well spent my internet friends.

This came out two years ago, a bass heavy, chugger of a remix of a Timothy J Fairplay track.

Sleighride/Blizzard (Andrew Weatherall Remix)

Monday 2 December 2013

Future Days

Woohoo- the downloads are back. And to celebrate, a bit of krautrock to kick the week off- Can and a just under ten minutes piece of mad-eyed brilliance. West Germany was clearly the place to be. This was a 2005 re-master so has probably been superseded by a more recent job.

Future Days

Sunday 1 December 2013

Way Fitter Than Billy Fury

It's December, season of credit and frenzied advertising. What better way to welcome in the month than with the umpteenth releas this year by York's Mark Wynn. Behind that glamorous cover shot lurks the same caustic wit, rapid fire delivery and acoustic punk setting. Who could resist a song called George Formby Breakdown? Or an album called Last Of the Real Rock Stars Is A Stupid Phrase- I Am Way Fitter Than Billy Fury Ever Was And I Don't Care What Anyone Says?

I have a bit of a hangover.

Saturday 30 November 2013

The Spirit Shows

August 1981, a young Roddy Frame leads Aztec Camera to De Villes nightclub in Manchester, just off Albert Square. They play The Spirit Shows, Just Like Gold and Remember The Docks and someone has uploaded a recording to Soundcloud. De Villes was the first nightclub I ever went to (not this night I must add, I was only eleven in 1981). De Villes must have had a slack door policy back in the mid 80s as there's no way I looked 18, I barely looked 16. I drank a bit, danced (after a fashion) with my mates and got off with a girl in fishnets. It's funny, the things that stick with you.

I'm off on my youngest brother's stag do, a day and evening in Liverpool. Nothing too wild, a few beers, late train home. Someone's threatened a Beatles tribute band at The Cavern. Wish me luck.

Back To Land

Wooden Shjips had a new lp out earlier in November. The single Back To land sounds really good- bright and clear, some lovely melody along with that heavy guitar groove. The thing with Wooden Shjips is, you know exactly what you're going to get, and they sometimes disappoint a little over the course of an album, but this one sounds like everything they do well, done really well.

The video? Your guess is as good as mine but it fits in nicely with the moral panic news stories this week about clowns threatening and chasing people in the street, from Wigan to Norfolk. A spokesman for Norfolk constabulary said 'Dressing as a clown is not against the law.'

Not yet. But it's only a matter of time.

Friday 29 November 2013

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 129

I've got ongoing lack of Boxnet bandwidth problems so your Friday night rockabilly comes in the shape of a documentary from London in 1981, then in the throes of a rockabilly revival, presented by Danny Baker and opening with The Blue Cats and then going back to the roots and forward again. Most of the kids dancing in parts one and six will be well into their fifties now, if not older. Fascinating stuff.

Snubbed Four

An ace New Order interview just after the release of Technique with a very fresh faced Bernard, a less fresh faced Hooky and Stephen. Vaguely stroppy throughout regarding Top Of The Pops, videos, the re-release of Atmosphere, marketing Ian Curtis and a certain Irish frontman...'It's all pretty hypocritical and it's a false ideology, I mean U2 are supposed to be Christians right and a big Christian belief is that thou shall not become a false messiah, right, and that Bongo guy, right, he's having a good stab at it isn't he?'

Thursday 28 November 2013

Snubbed Three

Loop, recently reformed feedback fans, and some very late 80s interview clips along the lines of 'we make music for ourselves and if anyone else likes it it's a bonus'. For the record, I do like the music, so that's the bonus. To be honest, Wooden Shjips don't sound a million miles from these chaps do they? There's something very mid-to-late 80s about the mixture of guitar noise, 60s visuals and Home Counties accents.

Wednesday 27 November 2013


I've put up quite a few Big Audio Dynamite posts recently but thought I'd share this with you, having just stumbled across it- blogger's stats tend to suggest there are a fair few BAD fans who come here. After getting fired from The Clash in 1983 Mick went to work pretty quickly, possibly just to prove Joe and Paul wrong. In a Clash old boys solidarity moment he hooked up with also recently fired Topper Headon, plus Leo Williams and Dan Donovan (a future Mr Patsy Kensit) and formed T.R.A.C. (Top Risk Action Company). This band transformed into BAD, gaining Don Letts and losing Topper (who was deep into heroin addiction by this point). T.R.A.C. recorded a series of demos, an albums worth. The Bottom Line, very much a demo and really quite different to the BAD version is here...

The Bottom Line was a potential Clash song, one of the most recently written before Mick's ejection- I believe they had a go at rehearsing it. In this T.R.A.C. version the riff is there (or thereabouts) and some of the lyrics but it's much less bass and drum machine led one that is on BAD's first lp. Some jazzy sax parping away at the end.

The rest of the demos are on Youtube and probably hidden somewhere in the deepest recesses of the internet. This one is Ducane Road...

The rest (you go look for them yourselves I think if you're interested) are Interaction, Nation, Apprentice, Fare Dodgers, Euroshima and The Prolific. It's interesting, if you're a geeky obsessive like me, to speculate on what might have's and what if's...

Deadstock, Baris, Asphodells

This Asphodells remix came out on vinyl last week- Baris K is a Turkish musician/producer who was up here the other day. In this remix Weatherall stretches it out, bassline forefront, adds an Eastern stringed instrument. And the backwards/forwards vocal is t-r-i-p-p-y. Hypnotic. The original is worth seeking out too (or just flipping over if you bought the 12").

Also out recently (not sure if it's on vinyl or not) is a Weatherall/Asphodells remix of Justin Robertson's Deadstock 33s. The Circular Path has a Luke Solomon and Dmitri Veimar remix apiece too. The Weatherall one is machine-funk reminiscent of TLS to these ears. Excerpts of each available to listen to below. I know, I find excerpts annoying too. You'll have to buy it.

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Snubbed Again

The KLF- I don't remember this interview so I must have missed this episode. I used to have a lot of them taped on VHS but they went the way of all tape and are probably landfill now. Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty, neither the easiest man to live with I reckon, made some fantastic records, provided a gateway to dance music for NME readers, had a good play around with notions of what it was to be a pop star and a musician, machine gunned the Brit awards, drove around the M25 for 25 hours and burnt a substantial sum of money. Bill Drummond continues to write thought provoking and interesting books. Jimmy Cauty has a vitriolic and slightly unsettling blog. All good fun.

Monday 25 November 2013


I broke my Boxnet bandwidth for the month. Or rather, you lot did. Mediafire causes some people problems with the d/ls and they're quite trigger happy with my files too. So for this week I will be making use of Youtube and Soundcloud in order to keep this thing going as we approach December. Having put two clips up from the long lost BBC 2 show Snub TV recently I thought we could dig into their archives a bit.

First up The Jesus And Mary Chain, who were in danger of looking a little obsolete in 1989. Here they are 'promoting' Automatic, along with the video for Kill Surf City, some snippets of interviews and a couple of live clips.

'We're up against the music business. We're nothing'.

If you've got a spare £130 you could buy all their albums in one vinyl box at the moment.

Sunday 24 November 2013


Snub TV, 1988. Mind duly blown.

Francis goes something like 'We'll have our sons, they will be all well hung, your daddy's rich, your Mama's a pretty thing, we'll go to California, something about lesbians.... etc etc (with a load of Spanish too)' and there's a throat-wrenching bit of  'Aaaghhhh!'

Kim goes duh-duh-duh-dum. Enthusiastically.
Dave goes rattatatatatatatatat, on and on, faster.
Joey gets more beautiful noise out of a guitar and a beer can than seems possible.

Still haven't bothered to see what their new stuff is like.

Saturday 23 November 2013

Stone Boat Saturday

Fresh from his stint as artist-in-residence at Faber there's a brand new mix from Mr Weatherall. Never one to let the grass grow under his feet this is mainly 60s psyche and garage rock from the likes of Dave Diamond and The Higher Elevation, Public Nuisance, The Chocolate Watch Band and Bohemian Vendetta.


Our son Isaac is 15 years old today. Born at break of day in 1998, with a genetic disease we knew nothing about and had never heard of (Hurlers Disease, MPS 1), he has had a life punctuated by hospital, illness and medical appointments. He also lives his life to the full. He goes to a special needs secondary school which he loves, wears a hearing aid and a cochlear implant (which has changed his life in the last two years), and as the picture shows he enjoys the ladies underwear departments of major retail outlets. He joins two young people with special needs groups for activities and a social life with peers locally- services which the Tory bastards at Trafford Council are trying to cut by over 50%, allegedly in the name of 'personalisation'. I think we may end up seeing them in court. Given that he has been within minutes of death several times in his early life, and survived both meningitis and a minor stroke in 2008, I sometimes think it's a miracle he's made it to 15. Not that I believe in miracles, not your religious type of miracle anyway. And on he goes, defeating and confounding expectations along the way. Happy birthday Isaac.

This is Mr Richard Hawley, live on BBC 6 Music.

As The Dawn Breaks (live session version)

Friday 22 November 2013

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 128

I'm stretching the definition of rockabilly beyond reason here but there is a rationale and I couldn't let the Kennedy connection pass by.

I have a memory of watching something back in 87-88 (ish), probably The Chart Show's indie section but it could have been something on Channel 4, and it was of a band called The Jack Rubies (named after the man who shot Lee Harvey Oswald, who may or may not have shot JFK). The song had an 80s rockabilly swing with a video containing black and white footage of  Elvis performing outdoors in the 50s, like in the picture above. My memory tells me the song went 'the King is dead...'

My not very extensive research has turned up The Jack Rubies on Youtube- not particularly rockabilly to be honest, more mid-to-late 80s indie-pop, in a similar vein to The Mighty Lemon Drops, that sort of thing. From Stoke Newington. Brief music press interest. Underperformed. Had a college radio hit in the US. Obscurity.

This song, Wrecker Of Engines, has some slight rockabilly influences. Possibly.

That's yer lot. Normal rockabilly service resumes next week.

Mrs Kennedy's Pink Suit

50 years ago today events unfolded around Deeley Plaza that led to the creation of this genius cut-and-paste hip hop record by Steinski.

And now.... here's Johnny
Ask not what your country can do for you
Ask what you can do for your country
Here is a bulletin
Stand by please
In Dallas, Texas
It appears that something has happened in the motorcade route
Ich bin ein Berliner
Three shots were fired
Put me on Phil, put me on
President Kennedy has been seriously wounded by this shooting
Stand by please, stand by please
More details, just arrived
Mrs Kennedy jumped up
She called 'oh no'
The energy, the faith, the devotion
The motorcade sped on
The world is very different now
Something has happened here
We understand there has been a shooting
I can see many, many motorcycles
Mrs Kennedy's pink suit
Something is wrong here, something is terribly wrong
More details just arrived
The motorcade sped on
A flash, apparently official
President Kennedy died at 1 pm
Central standard time.
We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution
There is a prisoner, wearing a black sweater
Do you have anything to say in your defence?
Oswald has been shot
Jack Ruby, Jack Ruby
Ruby, he lives in Texas
He runs the Carousel Club
Here comes the ambulance
More details just arrived
Mrs Kennedy jumped up, she called 'oh no'
The energy, the faith, the devotion
The motorcade sped on
More details just arrived
Mrs Kennedy jumped up, she called 'oh no'

The Motorcade Sped On

Thursday 21 November 2013

Disko Kebap

I found this on the web recently, a fabulous dancey remix from Turkey- so I have posted it accompanied by a picture of Broadway dancer Janet McGrew dressed as a belly dancer, which is probably an awful piece of cultural stereotyping. It's by Urfali Bapi and remixed by Baris K (who may well feature here again very soon due to an imminent, tripped out remix by Andrew Weatherall/Asphodells). I don't what you call this stuff- globaldelic was a suggestion at the site I first heard it. I've never been a fan of the label 'World Music'. I just know that it shakes and shimmies and sounds great.

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Life And Death

World Of Twist, Manchester's long lost turn of the 90s band, made at least three outstanding singles- The Storm, Sons Of the Stage (one of my favourite records ever) and She's A Rainbow- and an album which was badly mixed (at a cost of a quarter of a million pounds). Quality Street had some good songs on it but no matter how loud you played it, it lacked oomph. A shame since they had real potential, magnetic stage presence and a sound combining 60s pop, Northern Soul and psych with an early 90s sensibility- a definite sidestep from the Madchester sound, more like a sharper, rawer Pulp. I saw them at Manchester Academy and they were a blast, MC Shells keyboards housed in a giant shell, and spinning round newsagents signs and stage props. Front man Tony Ogden died a few years ago, one of the era's lost souls. He was devastated after the band were dropped and spent several years doing little but taking smack and watching World War II documentaries. Drummer Nick Sanderson followed the band by forming Earl Brutus but died of lung cancer in 2008. The lp has recently been remixed/remastered and is due for release next Monday, hopefully giving the record and the band the sound it needed twenty odd years ago. A second disc has radio sessions for John Peel and Mark Goodier and b-sides. This is the extended 12" version of their cover of a Sly Stone song.

Life And Death (12" Mix)

In this interview clip for Snub TV they are interviewed in Withington baths, just up the road from where I grew up and where I once nearly drowned as a kid (I stuck my finger in a grid at the bottom of the deep end. To see what would happen). Proper swimming baths they were- cubicles around the edge, freezing cold, fag ends and plasters floating in the chlorine.

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Lord Knows It Would Be The First Time

This American TV performance of Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want is a beaut. I saw Johnny and his band at The Ritz back in March and the reviews have been gathering pace and praise ever since that tour. Johnny turned 50 at the end of October as well. Looks well for it doesn't he?

This was a cover of a Rabbit MacKay song, a 60s hippie anthem, for a compilation lp from a few years ago and is one of the best things Johnny has done solo. Especially the guitars.

Tendency To Be Free

Monday 18 November 2013


Ooooh there's a lovely sequencer line on this nine minute chugger from Duncan Gray. Hits the spot and no mistake. If you like that kind of thing.

Sunday 17 November 2013

The Russian Rain Is Beating Down My Neck

This post is part of my ongoing project to gather all the different 12" mixes of Big Audio Dynamite songs- I've got a good proportion of them on vinyl and more in mp3 form. V Thirteen was a cracking song from their slightly under-rated second lp, with a really good Mick vocal and lovely guitar chords over that drum machine. BAD 12" versions tend to either stretch the whole song out or play the 7" mix, fade briefly and then reprise with an instrumental wigout for four or five minutes. This one takes the latter approach. V Thirteen. V good.

V Thirteen (12" Mix)

Saturday 16 November 2013


I don't know what this pair of beauties from the 1920s are doing but I kind of like it. Arty photo shoots with whatever props happened to be found in the room are clearly not a late 20th century invention.

Mrs Swiss is off on a hen do this weekend, in Leeds ('2 Es and LSD' the Leeds clubbing t-shirts used to read, back in the early 90s). So I'm on my own with the kids, trawling the record shops and idling watching people go by from cafe windows, trying to occupy two children with very different ideas about what we should be doing.

There's snow forecast for the north before the end of November. It's a bit early to be mentioning snow. This is my favourite tune by A Man Called Adam, the sound of Saturdays, terrace bars and sunshine.


Friday 15 November 2013

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 127

Halfway through Movember, it's rockabilly moustache time on Friday night. It's 1957 and Warren Smith's worried. He's been out of town and his girl's on his mind...

'Who you been lovin' since I've been gone?
A long tall man with a red coat on

Who's been playin' around with you?
A real cool cat with eyes of blue

Somebody saw you at the break of day
Dining and a dancin' at the cabaret

He was long and tall with plenty of cash
He had a red Cadillac and a black moustache'

As far as Warren's concerned despite all the trimmings the new man has- the red Cadillac, the red coat, the eyes of blue, his height, the full wallet- the real deal sealer for his ex appears to have been the black moustache. All the single gentlemen, you know what to do.

Red Cadillac And A Black Moustache

Two Men Thoroughly Outweirding Each Other

As promised a few weeks ago, The Boiler Room set Andrew Weatherall and Ivan Smagghe the challenge of trying to thoroughly outweird each other, back-to-back, through the medium of recorded music. Whether this will set your Friday morning alight I do not know. It's fair to say that it rambles all over the place. Free download via Soundcloud.

Or watch them doing it on Youtube.

Thursday 14 November 2013

Gallows Eyes

One of my favourite Billy Childish songs today. In 2005 Billy produced yet another album, this time sidestepping the three chord garage-punk to make an album of two halves. Most of the album is poetry readings, many of them nakedly honest, some funny, some quite uncomfortable to listen to. The first seven songs are something else entirely. Recording with Wolf and Nurse Julie as The Chatham Singers, they strip it right back and play seven songs of ragged Delta blues, Billy coaxing some lovely warm guitar tones and Wolf and Julie keeping time on bass and drums. If they sound like they were recorded in his kitchen, it's probably because they were. This one is particularly good.

The Man With the Gallows Eyes

Wednesday 13 November 2013

Ankle Shackles

This eleven minute epic from King Creosote came out in August last year- motorik drumbeat, strings, fiddles, all sorts of stuff and Kenny's plaintive vocal. It's a stunner. It came on a vinyl only e.p. limited to just 400 copies. I saw a copy on Saturday and like an idiot didn't buy it (limited cash and I went for the Jeremy Deller/Optimo's Voodoo Ray 12 " and the William Onyeabor album). I will have to return to the record shop. In the meantime...

Ankle Shackles

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Orange Creme

I get sent quite a lot of unsolicited emails offering me music to post for your attention. A lot of them get deleted I'm afraid. Life's too short. I feel bad sometimes. It's a big internet and it's hard for unknown bands and people to get noticed. Also, it's difficult to grab someone's attention (mine) with an email- some are too quirky, some too dull, some too friendly, some just uninteresting. This one from Orange Creme caught my eye, I don't know why. The name's a but offputting admittedly but I liked the email. The blurb for the Electricity e.p. goes like this...

The first track 'Games' centers on an insistent dry & dirty disco bass line that pulses under the dance floor,
with just the right amount of cowbell to leave the listener yearning for more cowbell…

'Runways at Night' is a slice of funky technicolor house. Bright synths stabs, incessant hi-hat pattern and that purple rain Linndrum kick…

And the final track 'End Credits' is space pop filtered over a tight house bass. While a whistling moog synth line flows over the top, familiar from the British spy thrillers of the '70s.

Now I'm not sure that any music could live up to that- just the right amount of cowbell is very subjective I think, leaving the listener yearning for more even more subjective- but it's a good line and I enjoyed the track. You can judge for yourself below- it's certainly decent enough, would sound right in a bar in town. I might nod my head appreciatively. The second one is indeed 'funky technicolour house', and compares itself to Purple Rain. The third I like even more, although I can't quite place it in British spy thrillers of the 70s. But still, a good email Orange Creme- and that's half the battle.

To top it off, as the picture shows, it's available on cassette from Leisure Lovers. And the cassette inlay card features line drawings of a young woman lounging around at home in her underwear and, um, enjoying herself.

Monday 11 November 2013


I should have posted this yesterday I suppose, with it being Remembrance Sunday but I thought I'd wait for the 11th, it being the day the armistice was signed that ended the First World War. In the summer of 2009 I took a trip to Ypres, Belgium- the scene of some of the worst fighting of the war. These are just a handful of some of the pictures I took. It was a profoundly moving experience, the row upon row of grave, many of unknown soldiers. Around Ypres were names I have been familiar with for years- Hellfire Corner, Passchendale, Essex Farm, Tyne Cot. The picture above shows Langemarck, a German cemetery, last resting place of 18, 000 German soldiers and two British. The plaque below records the names the names of four German young men and twenty unknown Germans.

Tyne Cot is the largest British and Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in the world. When we visited an Australian male voice choir were there. As we walked past the ANZAC part of the cemetery the choir was singing Abide With Me. An 'excuse me, I've got something in my eye' moment.

On the western edge of Ypres is the Menin Gate, a memorial to 37, 000 British and Commonwealth soldiers whose bodies were never found. As well as the list-upon-list of typically British names were short lists of names of men from Jamaica and India, Singhs in amongst the Taylors and the Walkers.

Tyne Cot looks down towards Ypres from the higher ground around the village of Passchendaele. In 1917 the British army attacked up the hill, through the worst rain in memory and the resulting mud. In the middle of the cemetery are three concrete machine gun posts, permanent reminders of why the cemetery is full. On a nice Flanders day it was still fairly easy to picture the struggle the men had- while also being beyond comprehension.

Everyone should go at least once- the cemeteries, the landscape, the surviving trench systems, the remains of bunkers and first aid stations, the museum in Ypres town centre, the war memorabilia still churned up by Belgian farmers and sold in Ypres' shops, are all unforgettable.

And the row upon row of the graves of men, sent abroad to fight 'the war to end all wars', should remind us why we should never forget.