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Friday 28 February 2014

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 138

We're going to a wedding tomorrow. It won't be a rockabilly wedding but I hope Dave makes a bit more effort than the groom pictured above. A suit wouldn't have gone amiss.

Mel Robbins recorded Save It in the 1950s, making the short hop from honky tonk to rockabilly- that bandwagon won't be around for long, better get on board. Save It is piano led with a thumping solo and a giggly, hiccuping, heavy breathing vocal.

Save It

The Cramps covered it, slowing it down, ramping up the heavy breathing and adding a distinct air of sexual tension. This fan made video is very good.


Brody Dalle is one of those punk girls our mothers used to warn us about- fags, tattoos, black eyeliner, bad attitude. Which only made them more attractive. She was in LA punks The Distillers and then the more alt-rock Spinnerette; both have engine revving guitars and a massive drum sound, her big husky voice and Joan Jett looks. If my LA punk gossip knowledge is correct she was married to Rancid's Tim Armstrong and is now married to Queen Of The Stone Age's Josh Homme. Brody has a solo album coming out- there is a song below to listen to (with Shirley Manson and Emily from Warpaint on backing vox). I quite like it in a regressive shoutalong kind of way.

Thursday 27 February 2014


Westworld crossed Eddie Cochran with beatboxes and had a few chart hits in 1987, the best known being Sonic Boom Boy. This one, with a slowed down Bo Diddley riff and a cracking vocal from Elizabeth, only reached number 47 but was just as good. I picked the 12" up recently, in pristine condition, in a charity shop for 50p- both a bargain and a charity shop classic.


And doing the promotional rounds on Pebble Mill At One here. Is it just me or have Youtube changed the embedding thing? Can't get it to work. Never mind- you can click. It seems bizarre now that bands would travel to Birmingham or wherever Pebble Mill was for a two minute slot at lunchtime, mime their way through their latest offering in between a few light items and some news, for the benefit of... who? Pensioners, the unemployed, students and some stay-at-home parents ( I resisted typing housewives there although in 1987 it was probably fairly accurate) . Who of these was going to rush out to buy Silvermac? The pluggers must have worked all the way through lunch to get the Pebble Mill slot as well.

Wednesday 26 February 2014

Candy Says

Today's song is a beautiful cover of the Velvet Underground's Candy Says by British folk star Kathryn Williams. I had this on a compilation cd but can't find it, can't even remember what the cd was, it came with a magazine I think but I didn't get around to buying the album. Anyway, this is quite lovely. I always thought it funny that she didn't hit the high notes that Lou Reed did.

Candy Says

Tuesday 25 February 2014

Girl From New York

Billy Nicholls is one of the forgotten men of 1960s pop and as such has an album that is one of those legendary, hard-to-find records- his take on Pet Sounds, shelved by Immediate just before it was due to come out (Andrew Loog Oldham's label ran into financial difficulties).This song is an absolute joy with blistering guitar parts from Steve Marriott, the rest of The Small Faces thumping along and a superb vocal from Billy.

The lyrics take some beating too...

She came from New York in the summer
We went to the zoo
She said that London was lovely
We had a good view

I called her at four in the morning
She came to the phone
We met in a park as the dawn came
I picked her a rose

Some how we found the time
To love each others mind

Peanut butter's fine

I can't stand peanut butter personally.

Girl From New York

Monday 24 February 2014

Quiet Village

Monday morning- let's start the week with Martin Denny's 1959 instrumental hit Quiet Village, a song which summarises the 1990s (and beyond) ironic, lounge/exotica revival in three minutes and thirty six seconds of piano, woodblock and parrot noises. Very nice.

Sunday 23 February 2014


Make your own here.

It's Just The Sun Rising

Echorich frequently leaves the most considered comments here and the man also has exquisite taste. When I posted A Man Called Adam's Barefoot In The Head he offered the opinion that that record and this one here today were among the three best songs of their ilk. The Beloved's Sun Rising is a peach, a song that sounds like it's title. It has been remixed to death but sometimes the original mix is all you need. The bass, whispered vocals and electronic rhythm- sublime.

The Sun Rising

Polar explorer Tom Crean must have seen many sun rises though possibly not in the altered state that The Beloved were writing about. Got to love a man in sub-zero temperatures who still smokes his pipe.

Saturday 22 February 2014

Library Walk 2: Direct Action

My most read post at Bagging Area this week has been the one about Manchester City Council's plans to despoil library walk, blocking it off with gates and a glass box. Unlike me, who just sits and types and moans, Manchester Modernist Society are doing something about it and more importantly YOU CAN TOO. You need to write a letter. An actual letter, on paper with a pen and post it too, costing you 60 pence for a first class stamp, but I think it's worth it. Because a) they shouldn't be able to block off a public right of way b) they shouldn't be able to spoil two Grade II listed buildings, a much loved feature of our city centre for eighty years and c) they are numpties for even thinking it was a good idea. Details are here. We can oppose the stopping up order, triggering a legal review by central government. You don't even need to be a resident of Manchester. But you do need to be quick- all letters must be received by Friday 28th February. Pens out people! Save beautiful architecture and fight the power, fight the powers that be!

Your Lips A Magic World

This concrete brutalist building is a nunnery in Yucatan, Mexico.

This is a dub-disco re-edit of Echo And the Bunnymen's The Killing Moon by Something For Kate. It is superb. You didn't know you needed a dance floor version of this song... and yet you do. Mac never bettered himself lyrically than with this song- heavy duty, time shifting, portentous nonsense.

Friday 21 February 2014

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 137

After a two or three week absence Friday night rockabilly is back! Back once again like the renegade master, D is for damager, A is for.... Al Sweatt. Al's 1958 single I Hate Myself is a hard to find piece of rockabillly (hard to find in a physical format- it's dead easy to find on the internet, you just type it into  a search engine and it appears). This song was the flipside.

Let's Paint The Town Red

Return Leg

                                                                Polar Explorer Tom Crean

Daniel Avery recently remixed Audion's Sky- full on dark dancefloor stuff, in two halves. I can't get enough of this type of thing at the moment..... as you may have noticed.

Now Matthew Dear (who is Audion) has played the return leg by remixing Avery's Need Electric. This is spooky dance music with a skippy beat and ominous, end-of-days noises.

Both versions are to be released on vinyl in March with extra remixes by Factory Floor and Matt Walsh out digitally.

Thursday 20 February 2014

Pain Relief

This is one of those lovely dance tracks that abound at the moment- chugging rhythm, some nice phased effects and noises, throbby bass, a distant robotic voice to unsettle you ever so slightly...

Tronik Youth remixed by Sean Johnston (as Hardway Bros)

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Library Walk

This picture shows library walk in central Manchester, a curving space between the Central Reference Library (on the right) and the Town Hall extension (on the left). It is a beautiful space as well as a handy cut through from St Peter's Square to Albert Square. Photographs of it have been printed on postcards and used on websites promoting Manchester city centre and its architecture.

So it beggars belief that the City Council and some fuckwit architects would decide to fill the space in. Currently under construction is a glazed box to link the two buildings and a set of gates at the Albert Square end, as illustrated below.

Various groups are complaining about this piece of vandalism, including the Manchester Modernist Society. Sir Richard Leese, the chair of Manchester City Council and leader of the Labour group, recently commented on Twitter that he couldn't see what the fuss was about, library walk was 'just the space between two buildings'. Philistine and idiot. By this logic Trafalgar Square is just the space between Whitehall and The National Gallery, the Mediterranean is merely the space between southern Europe and north Africa, and the Grand Canyon is just a gap between two cliffs in Arizona. All would be much better off filled in with crappily constructed glass boxes and gated off. 

As a cleanser after all that idiocy and sheer wrongness here is Allen Wayne and two minutes of r 'n' b brilliance, a song which became a Northern Soul favourite.

Chills And Fever

Tuesday 18 February 2014


This is the control  panel for the Worcester Boiler 28Si II, which controls our central heating and hot water. Or at least it did up until Friday night. On Saturday morning it was intermittently controlling it. By the afternoon it was dead. Some internet research showed that the fault is a common one with the Worcester 28Si II, that the reset button will reset a few times but after 5 tries it will lock out. As ours has. At that point every piece of advice on plumbing chatrooms (I know...) was to get an engineer in. This was not possible on Sunday. A friend had a look. He has a friend who is a plumber, who is coming to fix the Worcester 28Si II today at 2.00 pm.

On Saturday night I ran a bath by boiling the kettle and four saucepans of water on the hob repeatedly. After three quarters of an hour this delivered a bath of about 5". I know that under such circumstances one should shrug and  laugh and look at people under flood water in Somerset who are having a much worse time and see the bright side, spirit of the Blitz etc etc. I did not possess such qualities. I just want hot water and central heating back.

This song is by experimental, psychedelic, electronic 60s group Silver Apples, who may well have lived in a cold water flat on the Lower East Side. I couldn't stand it for long. I reached my tolerance several days ago.


Monday 17 February 2014


There's something mesmerising about concrete brutalism. I've long been a fan of these post-war monuments to modernism and have occasionally trekked to stand beneath some, such as Trellick Tower in West London and Preston Bus Station (best viewed from a distance, up close it's a dirty and somewhat unloved car park/bus station). I watched Johnathan Meades on BBC 4 last night. He operates on a different level- at times it's best just to switch off and let his commentary wash over you while enjoying the visuals.

Richard Norris (in his Time And Space Machine guise) has remixed Temples. Temples are four young men from Kettering making psychedelic rock circa 1966-7 and have been tipped by Johnny Marr, Bobby Gillespie and Noel Gallagher (could be offputting to some I suppose). I saw them briefly supporting Primal Scream last December and the song and a half I saw were alright. Richard Norris loops them about the place, reverb heavy vocals, phased guitars and backwards guitars, psychedelia firmly intact. NME were offering a free download but I think the capacity got reached by a mad rush of 60s psychedelia fans.

Edit: free download is back.

My Mind's Wide Open Baby

This is another song I've posted before, back in 2011 which is practically neolithic in blogging terms. I've long been partial to the Balearic dance-pop of A Man Called Adam. Barefoot In The Head is a staple of chill out compilations but that shouldn't prejudice you against the song- it is a beautiful record. Sally Rodgers and Steve Jones made up A Man Called Adam but Paul Daley worked on this too, before leaving for Leftfield.

Barefoot In The Head (12" Mix)

Sally Rodgers wrote the lyrics by cribbing pagan translations of the poetry of Robert Graves (or so it says at both the Museum of British Pop Culture and wiki). It also turns out that...

'Rodgers is conducting doctoral research in modern poetics at the University of St Andrews and Jones recently gained an MSc in sound design from the University of Edinburgh. Together they continue to work as sound designers on museum, film and theatrical commissions, notably the BME - a museum charting the history of British music from the end of World War II, and The British Museum's major new exhibition Journey to the afterlife: The Egyptian Book of the Dead. Their music continues to be licensed all over the world for film, television and release.'

You don't get that from ex-members of Oasis. 

Sunday 16 February 2014

Terry Hall On The Wireless

Terry Hall knows, don't argue. On the iPlayer, standing in for Jarvis Cocker on Radio 6 throughout February- everything from The Clash to Hamilton Bohannon via Deee Lite, the Breeders, Bowie, Jackson 5, Susan Cadogan, Dolly Parton, The Carpenters and a whole load more. Terry is very droll. Here.

That Old Town

While in London we took the students to the O2 arena to see the Museum Of British Pop Culture. As soon as you put rock 'n' roll in a museum it seems to lose some of its charm in some ways but some of the exhibits were good. There were large projections playing in slow-mo (The Smiths, Wham and The Stone Roses on Top Of The Pops in the 80s, The Clash and Sex Pistols from 70s TV), different rooms for different periods, a room full of guitars and drum kits to play on and a rather nifty touch screen virtual record box which tried to tell the story of dance music (a good selection of tracks although I tutted and shook my head at what I thought were a couple of factual errors). In the rooms, as well as some touch screen stuff, there were various pieces behind glass- some Bowie costumes from the early 70s, a Small Faces bass drum, a royal flush of Spice Girls outfits, dresses belonging to Petula Clark and Dusty Springfield, a pair of Rickenbackers- Weller's pop art guitar and Mani's abstract expressionist bass (John Squire's handiwork, along with Mani's paint splattered clothes from that NME cover, visible in the right of the second pic).  Art-rock crossover. I was hoping for a Cubist drum kit but left disappointed.

It transpired that two of my 6th form students' Dads were present at Spike Island along with me, a quarter of a century ago. They say working with kids keeps you young- it can also make you feel very old. I then spent some time racking my brains trying to think of when Weller and Mani might have played together and came up with this 7" single from a few years back, a super sharp slice of Mod pop, recorded with Graham Coxon. 

And here played live on the gogglebox- Weller, Mani, Coxon and Zak Starkey on drums.

They probably played together on a Primal Scream B-side too ('Til The Kingdom Comes, XCLTR era, sounds like The Who) which I have posted before. In fact having just searched the blog, I've posted This Old Town before too. 

Saturday 15 February 2014

King Dubby

I got back from London last night, everyone safely delivered home. While I was down south the north nearly blew away and the rest of my family bunkered in and were warned by the TV not to leave the house unless absolutely 'essential'.

This appeared on the internet yesterday and while I apologise for delivering you yet more Andrew Weatherall stuff this remix for San Francisco's Group Rhoda is a splendid piece of digital dub (done under Weatherall and Timothy Fairplay's Asphodells umbrella). What a lovely way to start Saturday and a half term holiday. A commenter at Soundcloud disagrees though- 'it is tiring' he/she says, 'the drums are stiff too much and gave me headache. I do not like it at all!' Each to their own.

Wednesday 12 February 2014

Take A Tube To Camden Town

I'm off on a school trip until Friday, showing two dozen sixth formers the delights and wonders of the capital. I haven't had the time to pre-write any blogs for while I'm away so there'll be nothing going on here until Friday night, or Saturday morning maybe. In the meantime here's St Etienne and a killer song from their best album and a particular favourite of mine. They got Richard X to remix the whole album a few years ago and called it Foxbase Beta, which this is taken from.

London Belongs To Me (Foxbase Beta Version)

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Analogue Dreams

This is really good, Analogue Dreams from Craig Bratley. There's a very repetitive acidic bleepy squiggle bit (which admittedly could annoy some) and then during the second half of its eight minutes some Balearic piano fades in and tips the scales upwards, followed by the kick drum and a synth string parts- and like magic you could be sat on a terrace somewhere warm with the sun on your face.

Monday 10 February 2014

Kylie's Gonna Work It Out

Kylie Minogue's Slow remixed by The Chemical Brothers. What does it sound like? Exactly like Kylie remixed by The Chemical Brothers should.

Typing the words Kylie and Minogue into Google Image are a surefire way to lose some time.

Slow (Chemical Brothers Remix)

Sunday 9 February 2014

The Major, Brother T, Nina W

This is a sort of follow up to yesterday's post which was done with a bit of a fuzzy head. I've been looking for this all over my hard drive. Eventually it turned up not where I was expecting it to be. It's a non-Two Lone Swordsmen Weatherall- Tenniswood track (naming themselves for this as The Major and Brother T). A funky little thing with an amusing title from a compilation cd.


I found this yesterday too while ignoring my hangover by pissing about online- an unreleased song in a post-punk style by Andrew Weatherall and Nina Walsh called Big Smash Up, recorded last year (possibly from around the time of the Unreal City soundtrack I reckon). It won't embed but it's on Soundcloud here.

And, finally, Weatherall playing at in the annexe at Cream in 1994. Two things- One, I still have a cassette of this recording in a shoe box under the bed. Two, I was at this night. Listening to it now gives me flashbacks and shivers, especially around the fifteen minute mark  and the 'give me chocolaaate' record.

Saturday 8 February 2014

Mixed Up

I survived the work residential. My headache has largely gone, the result of too much red wine followed by some rum in the small hours. I do feel very tired though. Thanks for your sympathy and advice (DVD especially with the advice, which I tried to follow). And now for something eclectic...

Nina Walsh ran the Sabrettes record label in the 90s, specialising in techno- minimal and/or earsplitting techno mainly. She contributed to various Sabres Of Paradise and Two Lone Swordsmen records and I think The Orb as well. I stumbled across this mix here recently (from 2009) and it's eclectic to say the least- opening with an a capella blues thing then moving swiftly through thirty five minutes of punky techno, German electro, ambient, folk before winding up with the lovely Francoise Hardy. The embedded music player (Ye Olde 2009 technology) seems a bit temperamental but that might be down to problems at my end.

While we in the Weatherall area the second half of the five hour mix he did for Ralph Lawson recently has gone up here.

Friday 7 February 2014


Tonight, while you are uncorking the wine and enjoying Friday night, I shall be enjoying/enduring the horrors of... the work residential. Hotel, meeting from 4 until 7, dinner, drinks and then another round of meetings on Saturday morning all the way through until 12.

As a result they will be no rockabilly tonight- I'm not having you grooving to the sounds of the Bagging Area Friday night while I'm suffering. I know that sounds selfish but that's the way it is.

Some songs recently appeared on Soundcloud- unfinished versions of songs for a second One Dove album, scrapped as the band split up while recording it. Shame. One Dove's Morning Dove White is a lost 90s gem, flawed maybe but a gem nonetheless.

If you go here there's a few more, tasters of what might have been.

Thursday 6 February 2014

Johnny Yen

Johnny Yen is the main character in Iggy Pop's Lust For Life- 'here comes Johnny Yen again, with the liquor and drugs and the flesh machine, he's gonna do another striptease' is the song's opening line, before beating our brains and Johnny's with a pulverising Motown drumbeat and David Bowie's beefed up ukulele riff. Iggy borrowed Johnny Yen from a William Burroughs novel- The Ticket That Exploded- where Johnny Yen is described as 'the boy-girl other half striptease God of sexual frustration'. He is also known for hypnotising chickens. Iggy's Johnny Yen is a self-destructive hedonist and therefore is partly/mainly Iggy himself.

Johnny Yen reappears in the James song of the same name, on Stutter in 1986. For Tim Booth Johnny Yen is a performer- 'Ladies and gentlemen here is my disease, give me a standing ovation and your sympathy', before going off and setting himself on fire again. Tim Booth further borrows from Iggy/Bowie by referencing the Jean Genie, and then goes onto suicide pacts, young men itching to burn and waiting for their own star turn. He then gets compared to Evel Knievel, hitting the seventeenth bus, before Tim urges someone to put Johnny Yen, the poor fool, out of his misery, to finish him off. I'm guessing that mid 80s vegan, yoga, indie-poet Tim Booth was despairing of the old rock 'n' roll cliches, with their leather trousered frontmen and drug habits, but by borrowing Johnny Yen he's lining himself up alongside Iggy Pop and William Burroughs to some extent. The James song was from when they looked like a really interesting group, spindly, spiky, uncompromising, almost folky, indie-rock. They went on to become a stadium band, which I don't hold against them by any means, but they sacrificed something when they expanded their line up and sound and began appealing to a wider audience.

Johnny Yen

Wednesday 5 February 2014

Rave On

I'm a bit of a dipper with Mogwai. I've got Young Team, Hawk Is Howling and one other- can't remember which off the top of my head. All three are excellent albums. They managed to pull off the trick of being always the same, always different. They have really good song titles. The new album- Rave Tapes- has unexpectedly wormed its way into my ears over the last week and is highly recommended. Quiet bits, noisier bits, some beautiful melodies, guitar lines and keyboards building intricately, a few crescendos, atmosphere, a bit of groove and rumbling drum patterns, the sampled ramblings of a Led Zep fan.

Here, one set of noisy boys (Mogwai) remix another set of noisy boys (Fuck Buttons).

Colours Move (Mogwai Remix)

Tuesday 4 February 2014

Thor's Stone

One of last year's most adventurous and dark albums came from Forest Swords, a resident of deepest Wirral. This Lee 'Scratch' Perry remix doesn't make things any less dark or less weird than what you can find on the Engravings lp but it adds a certain something and dubs it up fine style. 'I hate evil energy' says Lee at the start. Thirty seconds later the bass kicks in and Lee's still chuntering over the digital rhythms, ghostly backing vocals and bubbling synths. Very, very good. Addictive.

The original sounds like this...

Thor's Stone

Thor's Stone, picture at the top, is a rocky sandstone outcrop on Thurstaston Common, in the Wirral- supposedly with links back to Viking ceremonies.

Monday 3 February 2014


Drew posted a song by the Heavenly Records band East Village a few weeks ago. I hadn't heard of them before but having downloaded the album (Drop Out, issued after they'd split) I now feel like they've always been there. Caught in the years between mid-80s indie and Britpop, they had some lovely guitar songs, fleshed out with a bit of organ and three vocalists- a bit Velvets, a bit Byrds. I found a copy of the Circles single on 12" for a pound recently (their stuff goes for silly money usually so this was probably so cheap because the B-side is scratched). I haven't splashed out the £15.99 for the re-issued album yet but it's only a matter of time.


It is eight months yesterday since I last had a cigarette. Sometimes in my dreams I still smoke and wake up smelling it, feeling guilty. I can't get off the nicotine gum either.

Sunday 2 February 2014

Run Around Like A Crazy Dog, Make A Mistake In The Parking Lot

If Fear Of Music is Talking Heads best album (and I think it is) then the song Animals is the oddest song on it. Wonderful staccato guitars and a jerky yet funky rhythm with David Byrne's freaky lyrics about animals. He lists the things he's noticed about animals- they don't help, they think, they're pretty smart, they're always bumping into things, they shit in the park, they see in the dark, they say they don't need money, they're living on nuts and berries, they're laughing at us and they don't even know what the joke is...

There's a school of thought that says David Byrne was satirising moral panics and people's late 70s paranoia but I like to think he was just a bit freaked out by our furry friends.


On tour in Dortmund in 1980 the expanded Talking Heads (Adrian Belew on guitar, Bernie Worrell on keys) give it the full treatment.

Saturday 1 February 2014

Pretty Photograph

I'm on an email mailing list and regularly receive suggestions from James Dunn, 99% of the time modern hip hop (about which frankly I don't have a Scoobie Doo). This came through recently and I really like it- a remix by New Orleans producer Quickie Mart of a band called The Revivalists. This has a nice soulful vocal, a pile of wobbly bass, spooky synths and some glitchy/dubstep touches, smoky, nightclub vibe. It might not sound like your kind of thing but give it a go- free download.

Heavyweight Clash

Godzilla v King Kong, Superman v Batman, Pacino v De Niro, Pele v George Best- there's something about the dream heavyweight clash that isn't quite as satisfying as it should be. But you might find that Coldcut v The Orb actually delivers. A fifteen minute trip recorded live for Kiss FM, the two outfits rifle through each other's record boxes and samples to create something that sounds a bit like both and something a little bit new. I don't know exactly who did what or how they executed it but...score draw and a whole load of fun.

Coldcut Meets The Orb