Unauthorised item in the bagging area

Friday 31 October 2014

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 159

Hallowe'en rockabilly special- yes, it has to be The Cramps and The Creature From The Black leather Lagoon (off 1990's top drawer Cramp-fest Stay Sick). This video is NSFW. In fact, it may not be safe for home either.


This one's for Drew.

Mandy Smith, mainly famous for marrying the least cool Rolling Stone when she turned sixteen (and he was forty seven), had a pop career of sorts, after signing to Stock Aitken and Waterman. This song, I Just Can't Wait, smashed the UK chart, peaking at number 91. It gained a remix (the Cool Jazzy Breezy Balearic Mix) which made it popular in certain late 80s clubs and circles, especially the legendary Shoom. It was also on the compilation album Balearic Beats Volume 1. Is it a balearic classic? You can decide for yourselves. Drew loves it.

The Face picked up on Shoom and Mandy Smith's remix as this clipping  from 1988 shows...

Just to show how SAW-ish the original was (and by contrast how balearic that remix actually was)...

Don't worry- we will never speak of this again.

Thursday 30 October 2014

How Much Are They?

It's turning into a kind of interactive week at Bagging Area with reader suggestions and comments leading onto the next day's posting, in a seamless blog-segue. Or something like that. Yesterday Echorich said he needed a Balearic compilation for a drive he's undertaking across the US and went looking for a Jah Wobble, Holger Czukay and The Edge 12". I' afraid I am philosophically and morally unable to post anything involving the tax avoiding, overblown Irish rock band. And this song from Full Circle in 1982 is better anyway, featuring also some girls who turned up at the studio asking 'How much are they?'

A little bit of internet digging led to this re-working/re-edit by Utopus, which is pretty smart.

Wednesday 29 October 2014


A few years ago I had an idea that doing house music songs, especially vocal sample led ones, on an acoustic guitar could work well (if done well obviously. It could be really horrible in some peoples' hands)- Pump Up The Volume, Theme From S'Express, Cowgirl, those kind of songs.

This came my way on Monday via the social media platform of reader/internet friend Paul Bob Horrocks and it's really nicely done- a version of A Man Called Adam's Barefoot In The Head by The Balearic Folk Orchestra, using voice, acoustic guitar and strings. Reflective and just right for these days.

Tuesday 28 October 2014

Boy, Am I Gonna Wake You Up

We drove into town on Saturday and I had a Boys Own compilation on the car stereo which opened with Bocca Juniors' summer of 1990 song Raise. They made a video which features a bunch of kids, gorgeous singer Anna Haigh and the rest of the Boys Own crew (Terry Farley in a hat, Andrew Weatherall with long hair). Very summer 1990. Although what you don't get with this three minute version is the massive Thrashing Doves piano sample...

For that, you need this (and you really do need it)...

The follow up, Substance, wasn't nearly as good unfortunately. Weatherall said what he learnt from Bocca Juniors was that you can't make records by committee. Although this record would seem to show you can do it at least once.

Monday 27 October 2014

Bedroom Eyes

I was playing Prince Fatty's Supersize this weekend, an eleven song compilation of some of his best stuff, not very autumnal music admittedly. These two dubs are outstanding- Bedroom Eyes Dub has echo, rimshots, organ and bass.

That Very Night In Dub has the lovely voice of Hollie Cook, a sound that could grace any record.

Sunday 26 October 2014

How Did It Feel When The Clocks Went Back?

Is just one of the lines in this Baxter Dury song, Pleasure, off his new album. It's a belting little tune, with a nagging 80s electro pop melody and some motorik backing and Baxter's hard won wisdom.

The answer is 'shit' of course. It's always shit when the clocks go back.

Saturday 25 October 2014

Keeping It Peel

Today is the tenth anniversary of the death of John Peel. Webbie (from Football and Music) organises this internet event annually, paying tribute to Peel and his life and the music he loved. This track isn't from an actual Peel Session but it has John introducing the song on the radio,a bit of waffle in those familiar tones, and then Sheet Taft (Glasgow based, Creation Records, post-acid house outfit) and the long, languid, dubby and somewhat trippy Kali.


Needle In A Haystack

Today is Mrs Swiss' birthday- Happy Birthday L. She wasn't so keen at first about posing for this shot but we got there in the end.

Her favourite song of all time is The Velvelettes 1964 single Needle In A Haystack, guaranteed to make her dance at almost any social occasion. But I've posted it before so I thought I'd do the same song but by Australian beat combo The Twilights.

Friday 24 October 2014

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 158

Here's a bucket full of rockabilly, a hour and a quarter of songs opening with the incomparable Wayne Walker and working it's way through thirty-six more to get to Al Rex and his Hydrogen Bomb, while Hot Rod Rumble plays behind it. Everyone's a winner.

It's been a long week, pass the wine.

Lemon Drops

Wolverhampton's Mighty Lemon Drops were almost the archetypal mid-to-late 80s, post-punk/indie group, all dressed in black with Rickenbackers, and found within the inky pages of the NME. Look at the picture- nothing could be more post-Smiths but pre-acid house. They owed a debt to the sound of Echo And the Bunnymen, from the spikey psychedelic guitars to the tom-toms and the voice of Paul Marsh. This was their first single, released for Dan Treacy's Dreamworld label. Close your eyes and it's 1986 again.

Like An Angel

Thursday 23 October 2014

My Dream Last Night

Nobody really wants to hear about my dream last night- it wasn't even that interesting. John Holt, one of the golden voices of 60s/70s roots reggae died this week aged 69. His dream was about Ali Baba and his forty thieves. The voice, the riddim, the horns- all perfect on this one.

Wednesday 22 October 2014


Wasting time on social media recently I followed a link to the video for Hello by The Beloved- you know the one, funky drummer drums, crunchy guitar and a slightly silly, wide-eyed list of people to say hello to including Peter, Paul, Tommy Cannon, Bobby Ball, Little Richard, Willy Wonka, William Tell, Salman Rushdie, Kym Mazelle, Mork and Mindy, Barry Humphries, Billy Corkhill, Fred Astaire, Desmond Tutu, Zippy, Bungle, Jean Paul Sartre...

A click or two away I found Found, the closer off their Happiness album. A different kettle of fish entirely. It's like the Bunnymen on E or New Order at sunrise. Or a blissed out Beloved in 1989. Lovely.


Tuesday 21 October 2014

French Disko

It's a video only day today- I'm doing this on the run and haven't time to rip and stuff.

C from Sun Dried Sparrows left a comment on my Timothy J Fairplay/Editors post mentioning Stereolab and everybody needs a little Stereolab in their lives, especially the mighty French Disko played live on The Word (you'll have to put up with a couple of seconds of Terry Christian first). The driving indie guitars and droning keyboards, Letitia's vocals- pop and experimental in one handy package and a real highlight from the early 90s.

C pointed me towards Editors cover version which is driving and Joy Division-esque and, hey, actually pretty good.

And it turns out that Scandinvian aces Raveonettes cover it too, as seen here at Austin, Texas in 2008.

Still, I think if pressed, out of the three I'd take Stereolab's original.

Monday 20 October 2014

Gone Girl

This single from March 1996, from David Holmes' first album This Film's Crap Let's Slash The Seats, is an absolute beaut. Jazzy, early hours of the morning, downtempo vibe, drums played with the brushes, stand up double bass and the lovely vocals of St Etienne's Sarah Cracknell, especially the 'you can never go home anymore' line. There were two 12" singles and a couple of cd singles with a load of remixes as well, but the original mix is hard to beat.


Sunday 19 October 2014


I don't know much about the band Editors- I see their name about and they seem to be on the TV occasionally, one of those groups who say they're influenced by Joy Division and have a doomy sound. For some reason Timothy J Fairplay did a remix of their song honesty. It's a haunting, electronic affair with some nice bleepy bits. In all honesty, I could do with an instrumental version.

Saturday 18 October 2014

You Bring Light To Me

Underworld have been at the BBC 6 Music live thing at Maida Vale which you can watch if you live in the UK right here. They start with with a perfect opening pair of Dark And Long and Two Months Off, then a barnstorming Born Slippy and the mighty Cowgirl. Shame it gets interrupted in the middle for a brief interview but you can't have everything.

Restless Soul

                                                       Lucia Joyce by Berenice Abbott, 1927

I re-found this the other day, a white label only 12" from 1997 by Restless Soul, with a Two Lone Swordsmen remix. I couldn't remember a thing about it and it's a surprisingly funky Weatherall-Tenniswood remix. I've no idea who Restless Soul were and the internet doesn't seem to know either. It might add some light to your Saturday morning, if it needed any.

Psykodelic (Two Lone Swordsmen Remix)

Friday 17 October 2014

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 157

They loved space and science fiction in the 1950s and 60s and rockabilly wasn't immune. Like this single from Blackie Jenkins in 1967 (just checked the date, I'd have put it earlier than that somehow).

Spaceship Life


What do you think of the new David Bowie song?

Bowie crooning over dark, cinematic jazz, Taxi Driver soundtrack style jazz, side two of Low maybe, a little bit Red Snapper too. It's not an easy listen and at over seven minutes long not the obvious choice of song to spring upon the world to announce a new Best of album. Good stuff I reckon.

Thursday 16 October 2014

Back Home

I'm a bit undecided about the new Caribou album, Your Love. The reviews have been glowing and I can see what they're getting at. Some of it is undeniably lovely and several of the songs have a real lightness of touch, with laptop beats and ravey synths and the vocals add a very human touch. Some of it feels a bit insubstantial though and I can't help but feel there's too much top end and not enough bass. I could be wrong, maybe I need to give it more time. Maybe I just don't enjoy listening to full albums that much anymore- that shuffle function, single song internet releases, 12" singles and compilations have definitely affected my habits. I do really like this one (sadly not a cover of the 1970 England world cup song).

Back Home

Wednesday 15 October 2014

This Is...

This is a leather clad Mick Jones, somewhere in the 70s with The Clash, possibly dreaming of world conquest, the transformative power of punk rock and the vast range of influences he will channel into his band's music over the next few years.

This lovely vinyl rip is the B-side to Big Audio Dynamite's hit single E=MC2, a sampletastic song that showed exactly how much things had changed by the mid-80s.

This Is Big Audio Dynamite

Tuesday 14 October 2014


Kompakt's Total 14 compilation is a really good round up of the label's current talent, a double disc set with lots of things new to me that jump out sounding great.

Gui Boratto's Take Control came out in June and is almost too much, like overdoing it on chocolate. Lovely beats and synth sounds, with some guitars borrowed from New Order, featuring Come and Hell.

Take Control

I'm really enjoying this one too, by Terranova. Lots of Kompakt artists have very anonymous, generic, forgettable names. Over a very cool house track ex-Stereo MC singer Cath Coffey vents about headaches- hangover headaches, personal headaches, political headaches, all sorts of headaches. New genre- paranoia house.

Monday 13 October 2014

Mark Bell

It's been announced today that Mark Bell of techno pioneers LFO died last week of complications following an operation.
RIP Mark.

Run out groove 'Mind those speakers'.

I Don't Know What You People Do With Your Lives

I've said it before but I don't think that The Charlatans were either second rate Manchester bandwagoneers or Britpop lightweights. They made some records that fitted in with both those moments but many of The Charlatans' songs sound much better than other bands from the same time. They've just got more to them, maybe due to the history of the band.

Forever was the opening song on their 1999 album Us And Us Only. The full length version was released as part of an e.p. and it blows any of your other late 90s guitar bands away. The slow fade in of organ, cymbal and bass, building up the tension. There's no real chorus to speak of. A slow 60s garage band snarl sustained for seven minutes twenty eight.

Forever (Full Length)

Sunday 12 October 2014


Not only did the French Resistance take enormous risks and suffer terrible reprisals while taking the fight to the occupying Nazi forces but they found the time to dress well and look good while doing it.

Underworld did a ton of remixes of other people- Bjork, One Dove, St Etienne all stand out in my mind. This one of Dreadzone takes some beating. At ten minutes long it's got plenty of highlights... the kick drum at 1.11, the Korg riff repeating throughout, the hi-hat at about 3 minutes, keys after 5 minutes, everything hammering away and building ever upwards, the inevitable breakdown (8.13) and then (at 8.34)... whooooosh, we're away again.

Zion Youth (Underworld Remix)

Saturday 11 October 2014

Friday 10 October 2014

Mmm Bus Station... I Love You

I took this shot a week ago today, leaving for the battlefields visit from Preston Bus Station. It's a modernist, concrete masterpiece. Unfortunately it's also unloved, dirty, smells of diesel and a million cigarettes, not much fun inside and surrounded by buses. But still, look at those lovely sleek lines.

Underworld's dubnobasswithmyheadman is twenty years old and about to have a five disc re-release. It's still their best album, despite the pleasures of Second Toughest In The Infants and Beaucoup Fish. The long, bass heavy songs, driven by thumping drums, coupled with the snatched, conversational lyrics (inspired by Lou Reed's New York apparently), machine rhythms and energy but warm, human and sexy too.

Mmm Skyscraper... I Love You (Telegraph)

Thursday 9 October 2014


Johnny Marr looks the business in this photo- the black barnet, drainpipes, denim jacket and white shirt buttoned all the way up (from The Smith's appearance on the Oxford Road Show). As does his songwriting partner next to him, but Marr's look was always a bit more streetwise.

Johnny's been promoting his new solo album with his band, playing the 6 Music red button thing this week. I haven't got Playland yet so can't comment. But the version of Still Ill was first rate.

Still Ill (6 Music session)

Still Ill is a reminder of what an inventive guitarist he is (and he wrote it aged about 18) and also of how stunning Morrissey's early lyrics were. This song has more great lines than some people manage in an entire career- 'I decree today that life is simply taking and not giving, England is mine and it owes me a living' for starters. And whatever your opinion of Morrissey it is sad and unpleasant that he has been having treatment for cancer.

Getting Away With It was Electronic's masterclass of a first single. Marr and his band played it live at Maida Vale. Opinion seems to be split on this live version but I think it's alright. Watch it quick, these red button sessions have a habit of being taken down.

Wednesday 8 October 2014

Ypres And The Somme

My visit to the battlefields of France and Belgium was really good, so affecting and memorable in so many ways. The picture above is a reconstructed trench at the museum at Passchendaele. During the Third Battle of Ypres British troops attacked uphill, through mud, for several months. The combined casualty figures for both sides totalled over half a million. The village is now home to Tyne Cot, the largest British and Commonwealth war graves cemetery in the world, containing the remains of nearly twelve thousand men and the names of thirty four thousand whose bodies were never found or never identified. 8367 of the graves bear the inscription 'A soldier of the Great War'. Siegfried Sassoon wrote 'I died in hell- they called it Passchendaele'.

While walking up a track by a farmer's field on The Somme we were warned to look out for battlefield debris. These three unexploded shells were lying by the side of the path, uncovered by the farmer and awaiting removal by the French army. The one on the left was a very recent discovery, it had wet mud on it. They look quite small in the picture but the middle one was as long as my foot. Not that I was putting my foot anywhere near it.

This place left me quite shaken- Beaumont Hamel, the Somme. On July 1st 1916 British troops advanced on the German front line, the first day of the Battle of the Somme. I took this picture from the German position. The British front line was where the trees are. You can walk it in about five minutes today. As the British advanced they were mown down by German machine guns. A petrified tree about 50 yards in front of the British front line was the furthest anyone got. After two hours volunteers from Newfoundland were sent in. They were wiped out. I've read about the Battle of the Somme, this particular part of it, and seen pictures but walking this small part of the battlefield, understanding the topography of the land and how it affected the battle, and standing where such slaughter took place was humbling. It really struck me.

This is a field near Serre. Behind me was a copse and a natural dip in the ground where on July 1st 1916 the Accrington Pals assembled, waiting to go in. At the crest of the rise in the picture, just in front of the tree line were six German machine guns. As the Pals, all Kitchener volunteers, walked out of the copse and advanced into this field the machine guns opened up, firing at waist height. You can see how much cover the Accrington Pals got in this field. None. Of the 700 men who started the day, 235 were killed and 350 wounded in about half an hour. Many of them are buried in a cemetery down in the dip. To stand there, walk across the land, be where they were, on a lovely day 98 years later- difficult to put into words really.

No music.


This 12" came out last year, from the combined talents of Peter Gordon and Factory Floor. Listening to it on the bus back from Belgium late on Monday night, through headphones, was close to a religious experience especially round the nine minute mark- and not entirely due to sleep deprivation. Ebbing and flowing of sounds, pulsing waves and oscillations and discordant saxophone (an instrument often I can't abide). Full on.


Friday 3 October 2014

Dulce Et Decorum Est

I am off on a school trip to the battlefields of the First World War today, taking in various trenches, cemeteries, memorials and museums around the Somme and Ieper (Ypres, Wipers). I've visited parts of the Western Front before, including Tyne Cot, the largest British and Commonwealth War Graves cemetery in the world. It is unforgettable and a trip well worth taking.

I don't get back until late Monday night so don't expect any Bagging Area blog action until Tuesday at the earliest. I can't think of any more songs with Latin titles- four is as far as I can get. This song is played by Wild Billy Childish, from a radio session a few years back. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning is a blues song from the 1920s, usually associated with the Rev Gary Davies and Blind Willie Johnson.

Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning

Thursday 2 October 2014

Pro Patria Mori

This Latin song title challenge is turning out to be difficult. I suspect if I was into Metal I'd be alright- I have a feeling metal bands give their songs Latin titles quite often.

Ian McCulloch digs me out of a hole today with a track from his 2012 solo album Holy Ghosts, a fine record full of sweeping strings and that voice, with nods to the 80s but here in the present. Julian Cope, as has been well documented, is not a fan. In a recent interview he described McCulloch's career as the universe having a hiccup. A bit unkind Julian.

Pro Patria Mori

The two disc edition of Holy Ghosts came with some good orchestral versions of solo and Bunnymen songs recorded live at the Union Chapel, worth shelling out on if you're a fan. The title comes, obviously, from Wilfred Owen's famous poem Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori.

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, 
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, 
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs 
And towards our distant rest began to trudge. 
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots 
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; 
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots 
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling, 
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time; 
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling, 
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . . 
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light, 
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. 
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, 
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. 
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace 
Behind the wagon that we flung him in, 
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, 
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin; 
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood 
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, 
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud  
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, 
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory, 
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est 
Pro patria mori.

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Spasticus Autisticus

Is this cheating? I'm counting it as Latin.

Ian Dury's primal rage, ' a battle cry and an appeal for understanding' to quote wiki, standing up and being counted as a disabled person...' I'm Spasticus!'. Written in 1981 as a protest, deliberately provocative, fed up with being patronised, it got little airplay or record company support. It popped up in 2012, performed by Orbital at the London Paralympics opening ceremony.

As the parent of a disabled child, a carrier of the gene that caused it, I can empathise.