Unauthorised item in the bagging area

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Bowie Knife

The return of David Bowie then.

I liked the first one, Where Are We Now? with it's slow groove and reflectiveness, dropped totally unexpectedly on the world a while back and I like this one too. There's enough going on in the video and the lyrics to keep the spotters busy for months. I'll be honest though- I don't own a single record or cd he's made since Let's Dance. I'd definitely got little to no interest in the late 90s and early 2000s for the lps he made. I did like his Buddha Of Suburbia soundtrack but never got around to buying it. But I am cheered by this comeback- if only because it's good to have someone of his generation making an album that feels like it matters, because he wants to, he's got something to say and something he wants to do. And in a year of (so far) some Bagging Area big hitters (The Asphodells, My Bloody Valentine, Johnny Marr, who have all occupied my ears for some time now) I'm looking forward to the album (even if the sleeve is very post-modern shite).


Darkstar have a new album out- News From Nowhere. Apt title really as they abandoned London and made it in a house in the wilds of West Yorkshire. Mrs Swiss's family are from round those parts so I know them fairly well. Darkstar draw on the bits of dance music that can be a bit forbidding- grime, dubstep, electro- and add in melancholic electronica and ambient. Anyway, the new album's beautiful and ace and out now on Warp. And named after a William Morris book, who also designed lovely wallpaper.

This was their breakthrough single from 2009.

Aidy's Girl Is A Computer

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Dark Horses

Ctel posted this at Acid Ted the other day (but it's easy to miss stuff there as he posts several times a day). I thought I'd re-present it here as it's a good 'un and it's very much in Bagging Area territory. Justin Robertson, dressed in his Deadstock 33s clothes, remixes Dark Horses and their song Boxing Day- lengthy with drones and crisp motorik drums, 'krauty' as Ctel noted but pretty clubby and direct with it- I like it very much and it's a free download. Get it from Soundcloud.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Except For The Shed Seven Bit


I watched The Runaways on Saturday night, the film about The Runaways- 70s California's all girl punk/glam group. It had a good balance of girls with guitars and sunshine good times, hazy chaos and drug induced fall. The narrative arc in rock films is cliched- it has to be really- but it was well done, it looked good, the highs felt high and the lows were way down low. The two leads- Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning- were both excellent as well.

Cherie left rock'n' roll after her Runaways induced breakdown. Joan Jett didn't leave rock 'n' roll and had several hits including this heart warming, rifftastic cover of a Tommy James and the Shondells song (which I think Drew may have posted a while back but is the only Jett/Runaways song I currently have on the hard drive apart from Cherry Bomb which I have previously posted here myself).

Crimson And Clover

Here are The Runaways, without singer Cherie Currie, on serious rock programme The Old Grey Whistle Test kicking up a bit of a storm. Go Joan.

Monday, 25 February 2013

More Light

On reflection I think the new Primal Scream song, in it's full nine minute version, is rather good. I mean, they've gone back to the sound of their XCLTR and Evil Heat albums in order to move forward, and this is good right ? Because their last two lps have been at best average, at worst poor. The siren/sax part is great, Kevin Shields is on guitar, the rhythm rocks, Holmes is in the production chair, the remixers should have a ball. The lyrics- well I know we should be applauding because no-one really addresses anything 'political' anymore do they? (but they're a bit silly too, constant rhyming on words ending in tion leads to cliche in my book, and we all know TV talent shows are shit but are they really 'the subjugation of the rock 'n' roll nation'?).

So, on balance... good I think. You may disagree (as Drew and Ctel will I suspect).

Sunshine Underground

Back to work. Harrumph.

I spent some of last week listening to The Chemical Brothers 1999 album Surrender while driving here and there in the car. Dance music can date easily, especially dance music from fourteen years ago- drum sounds, pre-sets, software- all can often quickly sound like that year. On reflection I didn't think Surrender had dated much at all, and in some ways I was never a massive Chemical Brothers fan, but there are some belters on it (if we ignore Noel Gallagher's umpteenth attempt to re-write Tomorrow Never Knows and the still a little over-familiar Hey Boy, Hey Girl). The guest spots work - Bernard Sumner, Hope Sandoval, Jonathan Donahue from Mercury Rev, the co-write with Missy Elliott- sounding like songs actually written together and not just guest vocal moments. This song is eight and a half minutes of 60s psychedelia crossed with 90s dance mayhem, building with several arms-in-the-air moments and though it may be Private Psychedelic Reel part 2 it is still a blindingly good track.

The Sunshine Underground

Sunday, 24 February 2013


I just had to follow yesterday's Mexican with Apache- not the Shadows version but the Michael Viner's Incredible Bongo Band version which also caused a stir among the nascent hip-hoppers thirty odd years ago. It's a long road from this to Dizzie Rascal.


Saturday, 23 February 2013

Leonard From Sheffield

We spent a couple of days in Sheffield over half term seeing friends. In one of those moments of serendipity that make you think the universe may have planned it The Graves Gallery has an exhibition on of linocuts by one of Sheffield's sons Leonard Beaumont. Before my recent interest in the linocutters of the interwar years I might have passed the Graves Gallery by.

Sun Bathers, 1932.

Grinders, 1932 (they liked their machines and industrial production did those linocutters).

Nymphs, Errant, 1937.

The funny thing about linocuts is they're often no bigger than the pictures you can see here- so you don't get that shock you sometimes get with paintings and pictures when you see one in real life and it's huge or at least bigger than a jpeg or an A4 page in a book. Also they were made to be reproduced as prints, so depending on the qualities of the ink or the quality of the paper you can get subtly different versions. Still, nice to see some that were from then, as opposed to copies in books or on the net.

It's on for a good few months longer- go and have a look if you're in the People's Republic of South Yorkshire.

The Mexican

Babe Ruth's The Mexican is one of the most exciting tracks you'll chance upon. Made in 1972 it has funk, drama, Latin guitars and fuzzed up guitars, pumping bass and hairs-on-the-back-of-the-neck vocals. It was also instrumental in the birth of hip-hop in New York, played by DJ Kool Herc and sampled by Afrika Bambaataa (amongst others) and part of the anything goes street culture of late 70s and early 80s NY. It is also perfect for waking up the neighbours on Saturday morning.

Strange then that Babe Ruth were a rock band from Hatfield, Hertfordshire.

The Mexican

Friday, 22 February 2013

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 95

A rocking, reverb-laden song from Rudy Dozier from the late 50s for you in 2013. And a photo from a jeans company, shamelessly appropriating the style of Mike Disfarmer from the 1930s.

Wherever you are, whenever you are- have a good Friday night.

Swee' Jonnie

Some Fast Food Fanatic Was Burning Down A Burger Van

The last time we heard Joe Strummer's motorcycle engine revving guitar was on this song, from his final, posthumous album Streetcore- celebrating the Glastonbury festival ('I was crawling through a festival way out west... through all the stages I wandered') and his daughter (the coma girl). Celebration and tears and Joe's unique style.

'The oil drums were beating out
Du lang, du lang'

Coma Girl

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Hiding In Shadows

The Flying Burrito Brothers cover version of James Carr's The Dark End Of The Street (written by Dan Penn and Chips Moman) is where Gram Parsons made good his promise of country-soul perfection. Not a note out of place and a heart-wrenching vocal.

The Dark End Of The Street

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

So Chic

Bagging Area doesn't do much disco but here's an exception and another song from the freebie cd I plundered yesterday- this time some disco from Diana Ross with added Chic. Personally I could listen to an instrumental version of this that was just Nile Rodger's guitar riff and the drums for six minutes but here you get la Ross and a load of disco on top of the chicca-chicca-chicca.

I'm Coming Out (Chic Mix)

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Bonnie And Clyde

And to be fair Warren Beatty didn't look that much like Clyde Barrow either.

While rummaging through boxes and shelves of cds (and having a cd storage problem that is not yet resolved) I found a load of freebie music magazine cds from the last decade- one from 2003, Mojo's 18 Tracks From The Year's Best Albums (almost none of which came from albums released in that year). Tucked towards the end of it was this classic from Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot- breathy duet vox, 1968 vibes and some great whooping backing vocals.

Bonnie and Clyde

Monday, 18 February 2013

Caving In

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds have a new album out today- Push the Sky Away- with the sleeve featuring Nick (clothed) and his wife (naked), something I may suggest to Mrs Swiss should the third Swiss Guards album ever get finished. I have conflicted feelings about Nick Cave- some of his stuff is superb, but there are very few albums he's made I want to listen to all the way through and his piano ballads do next to nothing for me. There are people I know who rate him highly and people who cannot stand him. From recent times the last Bad Seeds album (Dig, Lazarus, Dig) and the first Grinderman lp both had a few songs I'd take with me anywhere but some I suspect I'll never listen to again. The same goes for the rest of his back catalogue, all the way back really. So reading the reviews for the new one makes me want to hear some of it, knowing there'll be two or three that I'll love, but I don't want to stream it and then just buy a couple of songs digitally. Seems wrong somehow even if it makes financial sense. I should really get the vinyl or the cd. Twenty-first century problems eh?

This is an out-and-out classic.

The Mercy Seat (Video Mix)

Sunday, 17 February 2013


Scott Fraser is part of the the Weatherall studios bunker complex. His Life Of Silence 12" on Bird Scarer Records last year was a Bagging Area favourite. There's nearly two hours of Scott Fraser djing at Clandestino, all throbbing bass, moody synths, kick drums, oscillating wobbles and more besides. Well worth sticking on to brighten your weekend or to top it off if it's been a good one.

Henri Gaudier-Brzeska was an sculptor who died during the First World War, which dates this photo to pre-1914 i.e. one hundred years ago. Somehow photography has collapsed time because this photo does not look a century old, does it?

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Right Now Someone Else Has That Number

Ahhh- Saturday morning, prospect of nine days off work, cup of tea, some toast with Marmite, weekend newspaper.... and some Toots and the Maytals to get the day going.

54-46 Was My Number

Friday, 15 February 2013

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 94

I don't think these two ladies are rockabilly but those beehives are fierce!

Some modern rockabilly for your Friday night delectation this week with Hipbone Slim and The Kneetremblers, who prefer to be described as 'rocking London delinquent dirty neo rockabilly rock'n'roll garage punk Beat Link Wray style instros and raw street blues' rather than plain ol' rockabilly. Frankly, they could do with some punctuation too.

But there's no doubting the tunes.

The Sheik Said Shake

You Make My Heart Go Giddy Up

I was watching a documentary on Youtube recently called Windrush about the experiences of immigrants from the Caribbean into Britain, from the Empire Windrush docking in 1948 up to the mid 90s. In one section it made a point about Millie's Number 1 single My Boy Lollipop- after the Notting Hill riots of 1958, when Oswald Mosley stirred up six weeks of white on black violence in London, many black residents felt they got no protection from the police and formed themselves into self-protection groups. The press reaction was generally one of 'race riots- this sort of thing doesn't happen here'. In 1964 Millie's utterly infectious song sold by the bucketload and some talking heads argued that this single helped heal the wounds of Notting Hill, helped Black Britons be seen more positively and gave them something to sing about. One now elderly Jamaican gentleman said My Boy Lollipop was also the start of the swinging sixties, just as much as any record by lovable moptops, that clubland in London was really swinging to Jamaican influenced sounds. Which is a nice piece of perspective.

My Boy Lollipop

And here is Minnie performing for TV in Helsinki of all places.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Lover's Day

Happy Valentine's Day readers and lovebirds.

This TV On The Radio song from a couple of years back is ace, if not very romantic.

Lover's Day

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

A Little Bit We Are Weird

We were talking about this the other night in the pub, can't remember how it came up- Bernard Sumner's appearance on the BBC's resurrected 1990 version of Jukebox Jury. Hosted by Jools Holland the panel- Bernard, Pat Cash, someone from Neighbours and Bootsy Collins- pass judgement on various singles, while mystery guest Chris Isaak pops into the studio. The bit we were remembering was when World Of Twist's new song The Storm was played. Bernard sums the World Of Twist up as 'a little bit we are weird' (but wishes them well as they're from Manchester). The bit you're looking for is in part 4 from around 1.10 onwards just below. So, Mr B, here it is...

Part 4

'A little bit we are weird'.

That's it really.

If you can be arsed...

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

I Am A Lazy Get, She Is As Pure As The Cold Driven Snow

Belle and Sebastian's best known song, thanks to the power of TV, done live at the 1999 Bowlie Weekender- racing along with a life of it's own and the odd tuning issue but totally wonderful all the same.

The Boy With The Arab Strap (Live at Bowlie Weekender 1999)

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Wild Billy Childish And The KLF

An recent email from Damaged Goods reveals another new Billy Childish band (The Chatham Forts) and a limited edition 7" single in April. The new band sees Billy return to vocals and a 'sound that is more akin to The Mighty Caesers / Headcoats with even a little of The Pop Rivets in there as well, a slightly angular, new wave approach'. 

So far, so good- nothing too unexpected though. The excitement and mind-boggling bit comes with the final line of the message- 'We will have the album to follow in the summer......oh yeah, it also has Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond on it as well…that’s the KLF to you'.

Billy Childish and The KLF?! I know! And yet... what will it sound like? Garage rock crossed with stadium house? Or what? 

This song is from Bill Drummond's solo lp The Man- a song named after Dumfries' football team.

Queen Of The South

Monday, 11 February 2013

Glen Campbell Saved My Record Collection

He did too.

I was watching the Glen Campbell documentary on BBC4 a few Fridays ago and I moved over to the alcove where my records are stored on purpose built shelves (built by my own fair hands eight or nine years ago). Pulling two Glen Campbell records off of the shelf I realised to my horror the sleeves on the opening side were ever so slightly damp and smelt musty. Stacked up against the wall (an outside wall which takes the brunt of the weather rain) they were suffering from our especially wet year. A couple of shelves down Talking Head's Fear Of Music had- you know what's coming- mould on the sleeve. Mould. On the fucking sleeve. I had a meltdown. I began to pull records off the shelves and stack them up on the floor.

On Saturday we went to Ikea and bought an eight cube Expedit shelving unit. Yesterday I put the unit together and moved all the records from the front room into the backroom, filled the Expedit and another set of shelves with records and then moved all the books from the back room to the record shelves in the front room (the thinking being that books won't fill the shelves as records did or touch the wall, thereby allowing warm air to circulate, so preventing the damp and mould that built up around my record collection). The record collection looked bigger in the front room somehow- but size (or even the impression of size) isn't everything. This re-arrangement has led to various other changes to the downstairs rooms. And there are some unresolved issues with cd storage. I could go on but you're probably bored already.

The new record room looks great. I may need another Ikea Expedit but I think it's going to work better as well as keep the records safe, as I can now sit and listen to records in the back room while wife and daughter watch TV in the front room.

Thanks Glen.

Sadly Beautiful

Sunday, 10 February 2013


I used to have a pair of dungarees. In fact, if memory serves, I wore them to Spike Island. With a Brazil football shirt. No photos exist you'll be pleased to hear. A danger with dungarees was the straps coming undone when sitting down- as happened to me when getting ready to get off a bus. The whole bottom deck nearly saw me with my dungarees round my ankles.

For no particular reason (and I wouldn't imagine they were ever dungaree wearers, certainly not after toddlerhood), here are The Pastels.

Baby Honey

Saturday, 9 February 2013


I'm really enjoying the new My Bloody Valentine album- it soundtracked my commute to and from work for most of this week. The indie-dance drums of Only Tomorrow, the minimal organ and voice songs, the futuristic noise of Wonder 2, the riff attack of Nothing Is, superb all. One of the things that's struck me most is the mix, the way that some of the instruments sound so far away and some so close, that it's not got everything turned up loud for the radio sound. Loving it, it works in the car, and it empties my head on the way home from work.

After Loveless we got shoegaze, a whole slew of bands with FX pedals who were supposed to sound like MBV. None of them did really; none of them had Kevin Shields in their line up. There was some chaff among the shoegazers but there was some wheat too. Slowdive recorded some good songs and at least one very good album. Here's their namesake song.


I'm also loving these Mike Disfarmer photographs.

Friday, 8 February 2013

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 93

Thank fuck it's Friday. Not been a great week at work- but you don't want to hear me moan about work, especially when you hear from other people and it puts your piddling problems into perspective.

This is an uptempo, minimal, scratchy, ramshackle, life affirming blast of rockabilly with fuzz guitar and superb backing vocals from Jimmy Barbee and The Hardtimes and it's here on this Friday night just for you.

Sweet Woman's Love


There's an Andrew Weatherall interview in today's Guardian where he refers to the photographs of Mike Disfarmer. Disfarmer documented ordinary Americans in the dustbowl in the 1930s. They're an amazing set of pictures and a quick image search will throw up loads of others. By doing this Google search I was ignoring what Weatherall cautions against in the interview but there y'go. Here's a few of them...

Today's tune is from San Francisco's Moon Duo- Sleepwalking has a huge, circling guitar riff, motorik drumming and that lazy, stoned vocal. Play it loud.


Thursday, 7 February 2013

That's My Story And I'm Sticking To It

I just found this and thought some of you might like it- a re-edit of The Mighty Wah's mighty The Story Of The Blues single, lovingly unwrapped over eight and half minutes, for a true Balearic end of night escapade where you want just one last song to send you on your way before you spill out into the streets to see the dawn. May or may not be the work of Ivan Smagghe.  At Soundcloud here and available for download.

You're my best mate you are.

I Thought You Were Usually Dennis Law, Sir?

'I'm Bobby Charlton, it's too cold to play as a striker today'.

I've more or less given up with unsolicited music submissions from bands emailing me looking for some (admittedly limited) publicity. I can't keep up with music I choose to listen to never mind anything else. But this popped into my Inbox the other day and caught my eye.

'Hi Swiss Adam,
I'm Mark Wynn, a spoken, word, noise, man/boy from York. My latest album, "Eggs,  Kes
and that bike I never bought you even though that I would like to' is set to be released
on Desert Mine Music in mid February. In a recent review by NineHertz.co.uk I was described
as being "Like a young John Cooper Clarke but less angry and more Half Man Half Biscuit."

On his Bandcamp page Mark says this about the album...

This is a collection of song noise things I made in December 2012 January 2013. Some of them are true things and some of them I just overheard and wrote down in public places so I'm not sure if they're true... not sure that it really matters... 

Mark's songs are endearingly ramshackle: acoustic guitars, clapping, occasional snatches of feedback, never less than interesting lyrics, some rapid fire delivery, some very Northern English references, and some sharp observations about modern life that'll make your ears prick up. And getting Kes on dvd in HMV in exchange for a cd he got for Christmas he didn't want, a dvd he'll probably watch only once. You can get the album as a download (pay what you want, free if you like) here. You may as well eh? I like it, you should too.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

She's Moved In So To Speak With Featureless TV Producer Steve

When she was five years old, a few years ago now, my daughter ET used to be pretty much word perfect on this Half Man Half Biscuit song- one of their very best incidentally- and particularly enjoyed singing the opening lines, the 'No frills, handy for the hills, that's the way you spell New Mills' part and the 'old time religion ending'. Glad she never asked what the third line was about.

Tonight she's going to see Little Mix at the Apollo (where I saw my first band too- Madness back in the early 80s).

Maybe some day she'll come back to Nigel Blackwell's unique lyrical viewpoint.

She stayed with me until she moved to Notting Hill 
She said it was the place she needs to be
Where the cocaine is fair trade, and frequently displayed
Is the Buena Vista Social Club CD

I thought she’d be back in three weeks and we’d go wandering the Peaks
Sojourn in my Uncle Joe’s ashram
For when you’re in Matlock Bath you don’t need Sylvia Plath
Not while they’ve got Mrs. Gibson’s Jam

Alas I’m brooding alone by the runnel
While she’s in Capri with her swain
And the light at the end of the tunnel
Is the light of an oncoming train

Well we both grew up in Eyam and strange as it may seem
Neither of us thought we’d ever leave
But the beak in Leek is weak
And she’s moved in so to speak
With featureless TV producer Steve

And now it’s all Eva Cassidy and aphids in Picardy
And so I can only ascertain
That the light at the end of the tunnel
Is the light of an oncoming train

No frills, handy for the hills, that’s the way you spell New Mills

Brooding alone by the runnel
While she’s in Capri with her swain
And the light at the end of the tunnel
Is the light of an oncoming train
Is the light of an oncoming train
Is the light of an oncoming

Old time religion

Gimme that old time religion
Gimme that old time religion
It’s good enough for me.

For the benefit of readers from further afield (outside the north west of England say)- there are websites that can do all the references for you but I can save you the bother with some of them.

Matlock and New Mills are both towns in the Peak District. New Mills (in the picture at the top) is on the A6 a few miles south of Stockport but definitely into Derbyshire. The New Mills section is of course based on ' A knife, a fork, a bottle and a cork, that's the way you spell New York' from Dillinger's Cocaine In My Brain.

Swain is an old English word for beau or lover.

Eyam is a village in Derbyshire, famous for sealing itself off from the outside world due to a plague outbreak during the 17th century. Hence, I suppose, the 'neither of us thought we'd ever leave' line.

Leek is a Staffordshire milltown, well known in Bagging Area Towers as the birthplace and hometown of my Dad. The only other reference in popular song to Leek I know of is in Joe Strummer's At The Border, Guy where he launches into 'At Leek town hall, Leek town hall tonight...'. Leek doesn't have a town hall anymore- it was demolished in 1988. The Rolling Stones played there in 1963. Leek has a non-league football team, Leek Town, who I watched once, on a Saturday afternoon at some point on the mid-80s.

Eva Cassidy is a bewilderingly popular folk-esque singer, who became posthumously famous for her cover of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. The sort of album bought in supermarkets for coffee tables and dinner parties- see also The Buena Vista Social Club. The parent album of this HMHB song is Cammell Laird Social Club (Cammell Laird being the ship building plant on the banks of the Mersey in Birkenhead). It's one of their best albums- if you haven't got it, you're definitely missing it.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

I Can't Stand Still Cos You Got Me Going

RIP Reg Presley

The Quiet Dignity Of Unwitnessed Lives

I've been listening to The Asphodells album Ruled By Passion, Destroyed By Lust non-stop recently. Andrew Weatherall and Timothy J Fairplay have crafted a proper ten song album, half of the songs with singing by Weatherall, soaking up the past thirty years of electronic music and a bucket load of other leftfield influences to make something new and modern (well, modernish). There are echoes of post-punk, especially in the basslines and the long trumpeted AR Kane cover (worth the price of admission alone almost), and those steam powered drums and percussion he's been using in his recent remixes. They chuck in some eastern tones (on Beglammered) and take John Betjeman to the dancefloor (with his poem Late Flowering Lust and the title of this post and song). The effects of dub are there in the bass and the production. And while it sounds a bit serious and moody in parts there's light and humour in it too. It sounds like an album, not just a collection of dance-influenced tracks, and is a sidestep and half step on from Weatherall's solo album A Pox On the Pioneers from a couple of years back. I love it and reckon I'll still be listening to it in months to come. I just wish the vinyl would hurry up and arrive. Do yourself a favour- listen to the song below; then go and buy the whole lp.

The Quiet Dignity Of Unwitnessed Lives

There's a brand new Weatherall Asphodells hour long mix at Fact too.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Richard The Third

Experts at the University of Leicester say that the bones discovered under a council car park belong to Richard III, last Plantaganet King of England and last King to die in battle. It is 'beyond reasonable doubt'.

They should have just asked Britpop band Supergrass.

MBV Blast

I'm sure you know this already but My Bloody Valentine slipped their first album for twenty two years out over the weekend. I can't imagine it's taken that long to come up with the title 'mbv' and I've not had a chance to listen to it properly yet, to really immerse myself in it, but the on the basis of a first hearing it's not exactly a massive step forward from Loveless, more like more of the same. But given that Loveless is peerless, this isn't really a problem. Those guitars, those disembodied voices, those drums, that headswimming noise. Sat here at the computer, with admittedly not great speakers, some of the songs- breathless fanboy alert- do sound amazing. Can't wait for the vinyl. For the moment the dl will have to do, and will at least mean I get a change from The Asphodells lp which is pretty much all I've been listening to recently. You can stream mbv at The Guardian and buy vinyl, cd or download from My Bloody Valentine's website.

Before Christmas Cat's Eyes singer Rachel Zaffira released an album which contained this rather beautiful cover version of MBV's To Here Knows When, done in a 60s acoustic chamber pop style.

To Here Knows When

The picture shows the cover of Blast!- Wyndham Lewis's house magazine of Vorticism, with his own illustration on the cover. The mashing together of linocut art, Vorticism and music here recently has been a bit random but this cover seems to summarise MBV's mbv blast quite well.

Sunday, 3 February 2013


The National Portrait Gallery contains this painting of Augustus John (by William Orpen). I like Augustus John- the most technically gifted painter of Edwardian England, generally thought to have wasted his talent or not fulfilled it, and a man with an interesting life, some of it scandalising the Edwardians with his bohemian lifestyle, boozing and unconventional living arrangements. The National Portrait Gallery is a fantastic gallery, not at all stuffy or staid, well laid out and full of interesting art- it even held the interest of some of my 6th form students for a while. And it's free. There's a Man Ray exhibition opening next week as well which I want to get back dahn sarf for before the end of May.

I posted a song by 90s folktronic outfit Ultramarine a couple of weeks ago. This one features the vocals of David McAlmont (what happened to him?). There was a version with Kevin Ayres singing it too which I think I've got somewhere, lying around on a hardrive.


Saturday, 2 February 2013

Sleeping Gas

I was in the enormous and ostentatious Westfield shopping centre at Shepherd's Bush on Thursday night, wandering round waiting for our 6th formers to finish their shopping (a treat for them after a long day treading the streets of London). I nipped into the Fred Perry shop, weary and wanting to get back the hotel and also slightly disappointed with the new season's line, when this Teardrop Explodes song came on the in-store stereo and perked me up no end- almost had me bouncing round the shop like a nipper. Although as the only customer the lad behind the till began to give me an odd look.

Sleeping Gas

In the picture is Wyndham Lewis, who London Lee pointed out was the Lord of the Vorts (Vorticists that is).

Friday, 1 February 2013

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 92

Just got in from London, after a delayed train journey and some irritating posh-boy banter in the seats behind me. But better late than never for some rockabilly- this is The Storms with a creeping instrumental from 1959.