Unauthorised item in the bagging area

Saturday 31 May 2014


I took a punt on this recently in the ALFOS section in Piccadilly Records, a four track 12" by Maurice and Charles. Released at the end of last year, the A-side is a trippy, bleepy electronic chugger called Sofa Love plus a remix. The B-side is this tribute to John Carpenter, mixing a dirty bassline, some Eno-Byrne My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts style sounds and some vocal samples from Escape From New York. A moody, funky groove you'll want to play all over again as soon as it finishes.

In 2011 Maurice and Charles put this out, a sort of acidic disco tribute to Giorgio Moroder.

Moroder In Milan (Original Mix)

Friday 30 May 2014

The Return Of Friday Night is Rockabilly Night 148

I've had a week or two off the rockabilly, but here it comes again. It's getting quite difficult to keep coming up with stuff for this slot but I was reminded of this cover version recently and couldn't find it anywhere on the internet other than Grooveshark. I don't know much about Grooveshark but I think it's semi-legal at best.

This is The Clash's Bankrobber done as a rockabilly song by The Pistoleers, which makes it sound like they did it first and The Clash later covered it dub reggae stylee. It's a good cover version. I can't get the plug-in thing to work but you can listen to it here. It's worth the click through. I can't find anything that works to rip it with at the moment so no mp3 either.

Here Comes Some Action

I got  a new bike for my birthday- yes, that does make me sound like I'm ten years old. It's a road bike, giving me an entire world of cycling jerseys and other bits of kit opening up. Mainly jerseys though and some of them are lovely. In a fit of velo fever I decided that as we were going to Sheffield for a few days I should cycle there while Mrs Swiss and the kids went in the car. South Manchester is pretty flat and the Snake Pass between Glossop and Sheffield is anything but flat and I fancied a go at a hill. The hill rising out of Glossop goes up to 565 metres (or 1680 feet in Imperial). And it's a fucker to ride up let me tell you. But the ride down is something else. I got a lift to the end of the motorway and then left the BP garage in Mottram on the bike riding through to Hunter's Bar in two hours and five minutes. My cycling app told me that I recorded my fastest speed so far (down that hill) and also my slowest (up that pigging hill). I would have ridden back yesterday but it was sheeting down.

While in Sheffield I heard this in a shop-Black And White Town by Doves, from 2005, and it sounded really, really good.

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Politik Kills

I have shamelessly purloined some of this post from a comment thread at Sun Dried Sparrows. The man in the photo above, who looks like he could have been pictured yesterday, is Lewis Powell (or Payne). He was a Confederate soldier who attempted to assassinate William H. Seward and one of four people hanged for their part in the Lincoln assassination conspiracy. Powell, from Alabama, was photographed unwillingly in his cell while awaiting the noose and his stare through the camera is stunning, utterly contemporary and one of the reasons I find portrait photography from the mid 19th century through to circa the 1930s so interesting. The people look out at us, from another time, boxed off in history but still alive and human. There's more if you do an image search.

I've run out of bandwidth at Boxnet- you may have noticed. I did think about getting a second account with a different email but haven't got round to it. Luckily there's tons of stuff on the internet- like this roots reggae style Prince Fatty remix of Manu Chao's of Politik Kills. And politik kills or killed Lewis Powell.

Manu Chao grew up in France after his parents fled from Spain, his grandfather sentenced to death by Franco's regime. Busking led him eventually to Mano Negra, a French group inspired by The Clash. Their hybrid of French, Italian, Arabic and Spanish music along with punk, ska, and rai led to success across Europe (except here pretty much). After Mano Negra he spent several years touring central and south America in a train. Manu's music is punk in spirit and global street sounds in style. Almost any of his albums are worth checking out.

We are off to the Peoples' Republic of Sheffield for a couple of days and I've not set up any posts for while I'm away. Originally we planned to camp but the forecast has dissuaded us. See you in a couple of days.

Monday 26 May 2014


This an excerpt from an absolutely lovely, ever-so-slightly moody electronic throbber from the combined talents of Black Merlin and Timothy J Fairplay, off an ep of remixes, out on vinyl soon or now. Not sure which. I'm assuming it's an excerpt as it's only two and a half minutes long; it certainly needs to be longer- about five minutes longer.

Sunday 25 May 2014


I was listening to Julian Cope's Sunspots yesterday on Youtube and saw this linked in the sidebar- a full gig live from The Ritz in 1987 (NY Ritz I think rather than Mcr). Cope's mid-80s black leather clad pop period is brilliant. He could knock out classic songs and singles at the drop of a motorcycle hat. Sunspots is superb, borrowing a couple of 60s riffs, and adding a recorder solo, some great organ and his cool vocal delivery... 'I'm in love with my very best friend'. I'm sure if he put his mind to it he could still do pop hits today.

There's an hour's worth here including Sunspots plus, amongst others, Trampolene, Bouncing Babies, Spacehopper, The Greatness And Perfection Of Love and his 80s period anthem World Shut Your Mouth. Soak it up.

Saturday 24 May 2014

Be My Baby

Be My Baby is, quite clearly, an utterly fantastic pop record derived from the imagination of Phil Spector and the combined voices and attitudes of The Ronettes. It has one of the form's definitive drum beats (which it is impossible to get tired of).

It is also- and this is a fact- a song that can be put on any mixtape/compilation cd, before or after any other song by anybody, and still work perfectly. Try it.

Be My Baby

Friday 23 May 2014

Feel Your Heartbeat Close To Me

There's something about 90s rave that's really doing it for me at the moment. It lacks knowingness, it's not arch or referencing the past, it just is what it is. Breakbeats. Pianos. Massive vocals. Euphoria. Highs and lows. For people round here who are five years younger than me this is their clubbing music. That's not exactly a generation gap but it is a sign of how the music that hits you when you start clubbing is the one for you and a sign that for them, rave is their classic house/acid house/techno.

It's a curiously sexless type of club music, or at least not deliberately sexy. Despite the fact that clubs at this time were full of people who were semi-naked (blokes topless, women in fluffy bra tops and hotpants). I suppose it wasn't aimed at the groin but at the feet.

On Youtube a commenter has opined that this isn't rave but Commercial Happy Hardcore. No type of music split into mini-scenes, genres and  labels quite like dance music. I can live with Commercial Happy Hardcore. I may go into HMV in the Trafford Centre and ask for some.

This version, as Paul Bob Horrocks pointed out recently, is an ace piece of slow rave- ideal if you're after a spot of euphoria while washing the dishes.

I quite fancy listening to Baby D's Let Me Be Your Fantasy now.

Thursday 22 May 2014

Don't Forget

Don't forget to vote today.

I'm sure none of you would consider voting for Ukip and I'm sorry if I'm preaching to the converted here but... there are some people who think that a vote for Ukip is just a protest vote, merely a rejection of the big parties and their grey-suited, all-the-same policies and their featureless leaders. That somehow they are sending a message that 'the people' need to be listened to and here's an 'outsider' who can shake things up a bit. And he seems like a decent chap, likes a pint and a smoke, speaks common sense, says what people are actually thinking.

But... a vote for Ukip is not just a protest vote. It is a vote for small mindedness, for a petty Little Englander outlook, for people who think they can turn the clock back to some imaginary 1950s idyll of whiteness and conformity and tidy front gardens, it is a vote for intolerance, for distrust and for bigotry, for conservatism, for backwardness.

Don't forget to vote today.

Go Get Organised

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Seven Miles Down

Timothy J Fairplay has made and contributed to  a lot of good music recently but I don't think he's made anything stranger, more out there, than this. Bubbling sounds, off key horns parping, a krautesque keyboard riff, busy drumming and time changes. It's tagged on Soundcloud as Zombie Dub and... hey, why not.

Tuesday 20 May 2014

The Sun Still Shines

This time of year always says 1980s Stone Roses to me- late nights, sun kissed skin, open windows, t-shirts- whereas The Second Coming is a winter album (in more than one sense).

This is a Stone Roses demo that never made it as a full song. Recorded in Chorlton in 1986 it's got nascent, classic Stone Roses qualities- chiming guitar lines, rolling drums, and sweetly sung vocals from Ian and Reni. The vocal breakdown part at about two minutes is really good. Although it was ditched you can hear the sound of Sally Cinnamon, Elephant Stone and Shoot You Down starting to form, along with the groove that set them apart from many of the other bands about to break through with them.

Monday 19 May 2014

Forty Four

It's my birthday today. I am forty four. This is a song pulled more or less at random from my downloads folder- Rocket by The Jesus and Mary Chain, a b-side from the Crackin' Up single in 1998. Having ruminated since the middle of last week I've decided I'm definitely up for the Psychocandy gig in November. It's hard to believe they were Smash Hits cover stars- 'loud, spotty and weird'. There's a good line up in that issue- The Smiths, Billy Bragg, the Bangles. Five Star. And a pull out poster of Samantha Fox.


Sunday 18 May 2014

Village Tap

Two decades into a meandering career of jazzy electronica (with detours into trip-hop and drum & bass) Red Snapper have a new album imminent. I am enjoying this Auntie Flo remix very much. Summery, laid back and funky and with an Afrobeat bent and some nice descending piano.

Saturday 17 May 2014


I'm going to see Prince tonight. Yup. A friend got tickets and asked me if I wanted to go with him and you don't pass up opportunities like that do you? I wanted to post the video to Alphabet Street or Let's Go Crazy, both of which I really like but I'm assuming the Purple One has an issue with Youtube because there don't appear to be any of his videos there, other than live clips and TV performances (which he doesn't own the rights to I suppose). I found Let's Go Crazy on a German video sharing site but the quality was poor and Alphabet Street doesn't seem to exist anywhere on the net. Most strange.

This is The Artist Formerly Known As The Artist Formerly As Prince when he played Manchester in February with his new band 3rd Eye Girl (3RDEYEGIRL is how they prefer it but it doesn't look right to me.)

Friday 16 May 2014

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 147

Better late than never. Elvis live in Tupelo in 1956, thirteen minutes, six songs, one pair of hips. And screaming, lots of screaming.

Crossed Swords

Following yesterday's band t-shirt post I remembered I had a jpeg of this- the old mail order form for Sabres Of Paradise t-shirts. I had the red one with yellow crossed sabres, second down on the right. I loved that t-shirt and it was a good conversation starter on a couple of occasions. Sabres Of Paradise's epic 1994 single Theme had two outstanding dub influenced b-sides, Return Of Carter and Edge 6. You need both but have this one as a starter.

Return Of Carter

Thursday 15 May 2014

Give This Some Thought

According to The Guardian's fashion desk band t-shirts are currently at various degrees of hipness. The ubiquitous Ramones t-shirt has peaked- wear at your peril. This is due to the large number of kids wearing them and it's availability in Primark. The Stone Roses t-shirt is also in trouble, again due to their popularity with toddlers/their parents. Too cute y'see. On the other hand Raymond Pettibone's illustration for Sonic Youth's 1990 Goo album is always hot and currently having a bit of a moment. But top of the pops and hot to trot is the 80s classic, the Run DMC shirt. Which is funny because I nearly bought one for my daughter a couple of weeks when I chanced upon one in TK Maxx- but didn't. If I'd bought it, for a child no less, an almost eleven year old, I could have killed the whole scene dead there and then. Anyway, I'm sure you'll thank me (and The Guardian) for this advice- I wouldn't want you getting it wrong out there and with band t-shirts, as Run DMC might say, it's tricky.

It's Like That (Drop The Break)

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Egyptian Bint Al Cha Cha

This is some wonderful instrumental by the magnificently named Ginger Folorunso Johnson, from early 1950s London and off one of the London Is The Place For Me calypso compilations. This isn't a novelty or curio but a genuinely funky little tune which should get you up and at 'em this morning.

Ginger was from Lagos and gained his nickname from the effect the sun had on his hair. He left Nigeria during the war and played jazz clubs around the world before settling in London in the 50s and settling on Afro-Cuban jazz. His band's instruments included elephant's feet drums- yes, drums made from elephant's feet.

Egyptian Bint Al Cha Cha

Tuesday 13 May 2014

In The Ghetto

This is from a charity album from a couple of years ago (1969- Key To Change, for homeless charities, all the songs being covers of songs from 1969). Bernard Sumner's short lived Bad Lieutenant project doing Elvis' In The Ghetto. It's pretty faithful to the original and a song that maybe doesn't stand much mucking about with but there's an element of karaoke about it. Bernard sings it well and I suppose that's the main draw- In The Ghetto being sung in a soft Mancunian voice rather than a Southern US one, and there's a good guitar break from about 2.50 onwards.

I saw Bad Lieutenant at The Ritz. They played the first half of the set from the Bad Lieutenant lp, Stephen Morris on drums, a pair of guitarists plus Bernard's guitar and it was all so-so. The second half was far livelier- a bunch of well chosen New Order songs, a rarely performed early Electronic album track and the Chemical Brothers/Sumner smash Out Of Control, then Love Will Tear Us Apart. Just play the hits Bernard, just play the hits. I had a ciggie outside alongside Mani who was asked by a passing gent when the Freebass album was coming out. 'Fuck knows' he replied. Things have shifted a bit since then for our Mani. Freebass (Hooky, Mani and Andy Rourke with an unknown singer and an 'amusing' name) was never going to work was it?

Monday 12 May 2014

Down That Road

Shara Nelson was the voice of two defining 90s singles (Massive Attack's Unfinished Sympathy and Safe From Harm. You knew that I'm sure). In 1993 she started a solo career, having fallen out with Massive Attack over royalties or writing credits or something similar. Her debut single was this, Down That Road, a Massive Attack-esque piece of decent soul-dance pop wrapped in a Massive Attack-esque sleeve, although it didn't exactly set the charts alight (number 19). The breakbeat, the sweeping strings, the piano tinkles and the voice all make it a bit nearly-but-not-quite.

Down That Road

Sunday 11 May 2014

I Like My Sugar With Coffee And Cream

There used to be a Bank Holiday festival in Manchester called D Percussion, largely free, based around bars and other venues in the Castlefield and Deansgate area. I remember seeing A Certain Ratio in the Castlefield basin and maybe 808 State too. A different year we saw Vini Reilly playing in Atlas. But mainly it was dj sets and hanging around outside bars (on the occasions we got some sunshine). D Percussion started in 1997 as a response to the IRA bomb that blew the city centre apart the previous summer and ran through to 2007. It folded largely because it was, for the first eight years, free. One year, mid-afternoon, a large-ish number of people milling around and whoever it was playing records stuck on Intergalactic- the effect was a bit like one of those viral flash mob videos you see on the internet. Almost everyone started bobbing a bit, mouthing the words, singing/rapping along. The Beastie Boys made a real impact with people and by the time of Intergalactic and Hello Nasty (1998) they were for a while pretty much in charge of left of centre pop culture. Paul's Boutique, Check Your Head and Ill Communication may all have stronger claims to be their best album but their threeway wordplay was never better or funnier than on this song. And the video is a hoot.

Saturday 10 May 2014

Saturday Night Live

Six months after they played Japan pumped full of drugs (which I posted two weeks ago) New Order played the Manhattan Club in Leuven, Belgium. This is a far more confident set, with a fuller sound and a more engaged audience. Hooky's hair has grown out from that top knot he had in Japan to a full ponytail. It opens with Let's Go, followed by a magnificent Perfect Kiss, and includes Age Of Consent, Thieves Like Us, Atmosphere (which Bernard precedes with the riff from All Along The Watchtower, yes, really) and Temptation amongst others. They finish with Blue Monday. Obviously.

But you're probably watching the Eurovision Song Contest.


This fourteen minute and forty second long single was a big hit round here when it was released back in 1994. Carl Craig, foremost of the second generation of Detroit techno artists, put it out under his Paperclip People name. It is premium quality machine funk techno, starting with a sound of man kicking an expensive bin and then building and building, doubling the rhythm, adding layers and sounds, with a couple of dropouts that are heartstoppingly exciting. Really good and not a second too long.


Friday 9 May 2014

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 146

Has it been three weeks since the last Friday night rockabilly posting? Ok, on we go with the series that refuses to die. This is the massively influential Charlie Feathers and one of his less well-known songs, from Rare And Wild, a Charlie Feathers compilation that does what it says.

I'm buying- who wants a drink?



Back in 1969, just before I was born and long before Massive Attack were even a twinkle in 3D, Mushroom and Daddy G's eyes, Horace Andy recorded this light-as-the-breeze reggae classic. Just rhythm, Horace's vocal and some little bursts of organ (Fender Rhodes perhaps?). A total joy.


The jumper modelled above is available from Old Town, for £98. If you happen to have £98 going begging. It is a Guernsey fisherman's jumper strictly speaking, different from a Gansey.

Thursday 8 May 2014

There's A Hole In My Soul Like A Cavity

This time of year always brings me a strong sense of time whooshing by- we are a few days short of the GCSE and A level exam season starting, the end of the football season is imminent and another World Cup about to start, in two and a half weeks it'll be the May half term holiday, then the long downhill slope to July, the summer holidays. Another school year done, another year older, September and autumn... Then I have to slap myself and stop imagining the time away.

Hymn Of The Big Wheel

This song's combination of crickets, whale song, sonorous strings, the lazy breakbeat and Horace Andy's beautiful vocal was the perfect closer to Blue Lines and is a bit of a tearjerker.

Wednesday 7 May 2014

So Long Gone

I have a soft spot for Pete Molinari. I like the cut of his jib. He's not doing anything 'new' but he does what he does very well, and he has something else, something hard to pin down. This is from his forthcoming album (Theosophy), a re-recorded version of a song he had on the soundtrack to The Lone Ranger film from last year. Little Barrie from Little Barrie plays guitar on it.

So Long Gone

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Looking From A Hilltop

Section 25 came from Blackpool, land of piers, amusement arcades and rides, Kiss-Me-Quick hats and violent pubs. They landed at Factory Records and in 1985 released this 12" single, following the previous year's album, an utterly groundbreaking and forward thinking piece of electro-pop, pulsing and throbbing, cold and northern. Produced by Bernard Sumner and Donald Johnson as Be Music, it is one of the best songs Factory Records put out.

The other side of the 12" was this eight minute dancefloor version, which does not sound out of place now.

Looking From A Hilltop (Megamix)

Monday 5 May 2014

Ellis Island

                                               Russian immigrants, Ellis Island, early 20th century

The new lp from Ellis Island Sound is quietly turning into one of my favourites of this year so far. One half of Ellis Island Sound is Pete Astor (The Loft, The Weather Prophets) but there's nothing remotely 80s Creation about Regions. This is rhythm led and takes it's influences from all over the place- skittering drums, horns borrowed from ska records, African sounding guitar parts, some dub bass, steel drums, glockenspiel, reminiscent of 1980 Talking Heads in tone. The single Intro, Airbourne, Travelling is excellent and out now. Posting any one single song doesn't really give an idea about how varied this album is either but try this one.

We Do Not

Sunday 4 May 2014


Something long and slow and laid back for Sunday morning, a remix of The Xx by John Talabot (he's from Barcelona), sampling The Streets and released back in 2012. Listening to this won't get you up and about and doing anything strenuous (getting out on the bike, clearing the shed out, tidying the garden...) but you will feel very relaxed while it's playing.

Chained (John Talabot & Pionel Blinded Remix)

Saturday 3 May 2014

Heavy Seas

I'll be the first to admit he's not always been my cup of tea in the past but this is very good and rather affecting. It also sounds little like any of his various previous band's works, which takes some doing. I think Brian Eno was involved in this song too.

Friday 2 May 2014

The Smiling Hour

Back in the dim and distant past (last year or thereabouts) Davy H would often call this time of day, on this day of the week, the smiling hour... and he'd post something jazzy like this...

I Wish I Knew (How It Would Feel To Be Free)

We're off into town tonight, for drinks. Salut.

It Takes Two

I was saddened earlier this week by the news that DJ E-Z Rock (Rodney Bryce) had been found dead, aged just 46. Along with Rob Base he recorded this 1988 hip hop smash hit. It Takes Two sampled Lyn Collins' Think (About It) for it's catchy as anything chorus and has a massive drum track. It's almost as much dance music as hip hop, a proper party record. This was followed by equally sad news personally- a former football teammate of mine died of cancer last week, aged just 47.  RIP E-Z Rock. RIP Derek Rowe.

It Takes Two

Thursday 1 May 2014


The dub version of the last Peaking Lights album (Lucifer and Lucifer In Dub) have both been near my stereo recently. The one in the video above is called Beautiful Dub and that's exactly what it is. There was a download only e.p. of remixes too (Lucifer Re-Lit) of which Jon Talabot's re-working of the same song (Beautiful Son) was, again, beautiful. Eight minutes of hi-hat, piano and bass, with echoey blissed out, sunny day vocals.

Beautiful Son (John Talabot's Acetate Dub)