Unauthorised item in the bagging area

Wednesday 31 January 2018

Jacaranda Skies

Sorry for the break in transmission yesterday. It was Richard Branson's fault. The buck goes all the way to the top.

Yes it's late January and yes the weather is still a bit shitty but we can console ourselves with the thought that it is getting lighter for longer, slowly but surely, day by day. This new release from Leeds-based producer Joe Morris is Balearic through and through, the sound of beaches, sunsets and pine trees. Four tracks, none in any hurry to get anywhere but too busy to be ambient. Here's two of them.

Jacaranda Skies

The Lost Garden

Monday 29 January 2018


I've been into Mark Rothko's paintings, especially the enormous Seagram murals, ever since I saw them at Tate Liverpool in 1988. I bought a print which was blue tacked to my wall throughout my numerous student/post-student house and flat moves. When Mrs Swiss and I moved in together we went the full hog and bought frames for pictures. A pair of Rothko's have hung above our bed ever since. Finding this photograph on the internet the other night was a little bit of mindblower for me.

There is no real connection between that and this. Today's music is by Kalli Ma, remixed by Timothy 'Heretic' Clerin. It is -
a) obscure (I'd not heard of the artist previously but had heard of the remixer)
b) quite out there sonically
c) unsettling but still danceable- the sounds are disquieting and freaky but the rhythms are for the feet
d) a free download

The blurb says ''Kalli Ma is an electronic ensemble influenced by DIY aesthetics to experiment and create forward-thinking music" and I am in favour of that. 

Sunday 28 January 2018

A Trip In A Flying Saucer

Just after Christmas I posted a half hour mix by Martin 'Youth' Glover, Joy Division versus Basement 5 combined in a mix for the longest night,  intense and full of dread. This one, A Trip In A Flying Saucer (Maya Jane Coles v Killing Joke In Dub) is a 30 minute mix more suited to Sunday mornings. A hypnotic, rolling groove, plenty of dub production and the vocals of Maya Jane Coles woven in and out. Given the laid back nature of this and some of the sounds within it, it is no surprise to find out that Alex Paterson was involved in the record selection in the studio.

Saturday 27 January 2018


A couple of weeks ago I was engaged in a chat on the Twitter with Drew and others and cassette bootlegs came up in conversation. Afterwards I went looking for my copy of  Andrew Weatherall Live at Cream Vol. 1. Drew had some tapes of Weatherall playing in Scotland at around the same time (c1993-4). We discussed those live bootleg tapes that used be sold in markets and student unions, terrible quality audience recordings of  The Stone Roses and The Fall and such like (Funny. I typed that sentence before MES died). The DJ tapes were at least recorded from the soundboard onto DAT. I found my tape in a box with some other tapes and posted it to Drew who has the facility to rip tapes. He then sent me the files. Thank you Drew. The tape is almost a quarter of a century old and survived both the Royal Mail and being turned into an mp3. The quality drops a bit here and there but is largely good.

What we have here is Weatherall playing the back room at Cream in 1994 (Cream pictured above), spinning techno and dub-techno, some acid, some sounding a tad dated in parts and some sounding still quite exciting elsewhere (but maybe that's just me. I'll be perfectly frank here- some of this tape made the hairs on the back of neck stand up and gave me butterflies. The potency of cheap music eh?). Lots of kick drums, snares, acid squiggles, the occasional spin back on the turntable (wubba wubba wubba wubba). And the vocal samples, which was I think the starting point of the conversation. The ones that stuck in my memory from way back were-

The one that goes 'Pressure, pressure, pressure... yeah, yeah, yeah' and then dissolves into 'give me chocolate'. I remember dancing to this and a girl telling me that when this track made her feel like she was having melted chocolate poured over her, as the dry ice whirled around us and the strobe flashed.

The one that goes 'New York- New York New York- New York New York- New York London Amsterdam' over ascending rave synth stabs and a 'ow huh uh' sample, before breaking down completely into a reggae rhythm and then speeding up again. Hands in the air folks.

The one that I think we decided is a sample from a Shamen record that goes 'Bang. To the beat of the drum. Bang bang. To the beat of the drum.' Fingers rat-tat-tatting in the air, pinging imaginary hi-hats. I was sure this one was on it but it isn't. In my head it is, he certainly was playing it around this time. Or maybe I had another tape. Anyway, regardless, back in time we go, to Cream in 1994 and Weatherall in the back room.

Andrew Weatherall Live at Cream Vol. 1 Part 1

Andrew Weatherall Live at Cream Vol. 1 Part 2

Friday 26 January 2018

Head Down

I was thinking while driving home last night about The Fall and how they've been part of my musical life for over thirty years. When I first started properly getting into music- buying the records, going to the gigs, reading the music press, looking for the clothes, all that kind of stuff- The Fall were there (along with The Smiths, New Order, Talking Heads, and various other indie/alternative bands). And while I've never been a buy-all-the-records Fall fan, their music is undoubtedly part of musical DNA. In the 8 years I've been doing this blog I've posted about them 17 times. The songs- Theme From Sparta FC, Bill Is Dead (thrice), Popcorn Double Feature, Funnel Of Love, How I Wrote ''Elastic Man'', Bingo Master's Breakout, Two Librans, White Lighting, There's A Ghost In My House, Rowche Rumble, Big New Prinz, Wrong Place Right Time and Squid Lord (plus I Want You by Mark E Smith and Inspiral Carpets, Mark with Edwyn Collins on Seventies Night and Rhinohead by MES with Von Sudenfed). That looks like a pretty decent compilation album right there.

On top of those I could easily have posted these without much effort- Free Range, Hey! Luciani, Repetition, Industrial Estate, Edinburgh Man, Mr Pharmacist, Hit The North, Eat Y'self Fitter, Touch Sensitive, Victoria, Cruiser's Creek, Totally Wired, Who Makes the Nazis?, Telephone Thing, High Tension Line, Twister, Blood Outta Stone, Kimble, Trust In Me, Spoilt Victorian Child, Bremen Nacht, Dead Beat Descendent, Jerusalem and Get A Hotel. That's just the obvious ones off the top of my head. And this one, off 1988's The Frenz Experiment (a somewhat unloved album I think among the devotees but I treasure it. I think Brix really brought something to the gruppe).

The Steak Place

For a long time I thought there must be a subtext to The Steak Place but couldn't put my finger on it, something in the lyrics I couldn't work out. But on reflection I think it is just a song about a steak house.

'Cheap carpet lines the way 
Aluminium tack door handles 
Candelabra lions head 
Via butchers display too

The steak place
Via a carcass row
Things are brought forward and eaten,
I see the corners filled with hitmen,
Two young lawyers they are whispering, in
The steak place

I want to stay here,
I don't want to go anywhere,
I could remain here'

Thursday 25 January 2018

Drop That Ghettoblaster

Something a bit more in your face and full on, full frontal even, than yesterday's ghostly Rootmasters song. This 1986 release by Karen Finley was sampled by S'Express (where this post's title was borrowed from and also the phrase 'suck me off', which somehow Mark Moore managed to disguise slightly by smudging the first vowel sound and then sneaking onto Radio 1 and Top of Of The Pops). Over a rapid fire drum machine and then some long keyboard chords Karen opens fire (Karen was a performance artist and poet and is currently a professor at New York University). She starts out with 'you don't own me bastard, you fucking asshole' and then crams in pretty much every insult, sexual reference and swear word she can think of, also taking time to include your Granny and Belgian waffles. It's a tour de force performance and was produced and co-written by Mark Kamins (who most famously worked with Madonna in the 80s).

It is still pretty jaw-dropping to hear and should probably only be played loudly/audibly if you are very confident in those who are around you. Most definitely Not Safe For Work.

Tales Of Taboo

Here, so you can place those vocal samples in context, and also because this is one of the greatest records of the 1980s (and of any decade in fact) are S'Express having a lot of fun on Top Of The Pops.

Wednesday 24 January 2018

Mark E Smith

I've just seen a post by Dave Haslam on social media saying that Mark E Smith has died at the age of 60. He doesn't seem to have been in the best of health recently but it is still sad and shocking news. He was a true one-off, a maverick, a wordsmith and a visionary. He will be missed.

Janis Joplin's Mum

                                            Above, left to right- Seth, Janis and Dorothy Joplin.

An obscure oddity for Wednesday from the combined talents of Alex Paterson and Nina Walsh, united as Rootmasters. It came out as part of an Orb compilation called The Orb Presents Tundra And Snowflakes (for a Russian label and bar, Ketama), a double album containing all sorts of oddities, rarities, cast offs and wastrels. The track came out originally on a Rootmasters e.p. from 2007 called Push Once.

What's it like? It's a beguiling piece of spooky, downtempo music, full of echo, crackle and hiss, built around a descending chord pattern. A sampled voice instructing us to open our eyes. Doors creak open and shut, accompanied by eastern instruments. Occasionally Nina's voice surfaces singing 'only the good die young'. Then it fades out again. More crackle.

Janis Joplin's Mum

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Well Tempered

Fluke were a British acid house/techno group who put out a very good album on Creation (The Techno Rose Of Blighty, 1991) and went on to release several others and then went on to provide music for film soundtracks (The Matrix amongst others). But in some ways their best work was the remixes they did of other artists in the early 90s. They worked on several singles for Bjork's Debut including the definitive version of Big Time Sensuality and this magnificent, shimmering, rushing, dancefloor reworking of Violently Happy.

Violently Happy (Fluke Well Tempered)

This remix of  Spooky was the fourth single from their 1993 Republic album (and there is a sign of how things had changed- New Order on Factory would never have done something as major label as releasing 4 singles off an album). One of the (few) highlights of the album and its related singles were the 3 remixes Fluke did of Spooky.

Spooky (Magimix)

Monday 22 January 2018

Tir Ha Mor

Gwenno has a new album out soon and this song/single Tir Ha Mor is a lovely way to promote it. Lots of little melodic touches, organs and synths pushed along by insistent drums and topped with her sing-song vocals (in Cornish). The song was inspired by a trip to St Ives and the Cornish abstract landscape artist Peter Lanyon.

Gwenno's last album was a psychedelic/motorik joy sung mostly in Welsh. One of the songs, Chwyldro, was remixed by our friend Andrew Weatherall in fine, wigged out, lengthy style.

Chwyldro (Andrew Weatherall Remix)

Sunday 21 January 2018

Slow Fade

Daniel Avery has just released a new 4 track e.p. Plenty of hazy, calming white noise, FX, ghostly synths and echo-laden drums. Like walking through fog and then coming out of it. A new album, Song For Alpha, comes out in April and if Slow Fade is anything to go by it will be very good indeed.

Saturday 20 January 2018

Music For Dreams

Phil Mison, Balearic dj and producer, put out a compilation called Music For Dreams Vol. 1 back in 2014. As far as I can see it didn't have a physical release but you can stream it and download it at the usual places you might do those things (obviously if you like it you should buy it because streaming doesn't really pay anyone a jot unless they're absolutely massive).

Music For Dreams is a trip, 22 tracks from artists like Grassskirt, Kenneth Bager, Lulu Rouge, Cantoma, DJ Disse (a seriously laid back cover of Walk On The Wild Side), Frontera and Bliss. The vibe is relaxed, with a pulsebeat to keep the head nodding. Best of all, when you buy it there are the individual tracks and two fully mixed versions. This is a 20 minute preview mix. A truly gorgeous way to start Saturday morning.

Friday 19 January 2018

Jukebox Babe

My love of San Francisco drone hippy-punks Moon Duo is well documented. They have a new 12" out today, a pair of covers. One of them is a version of No Fun by The Stooges that they worked up when appearing on 6 Music for Iggy's 70th birthday (and it gives me an excuse to use this picture of Iggy a friend shared on social media recently). The other is a cover of Alan Vega's 1981 single Jukebox Babe, an exercise in repetition and reverb that will take some beating. Both were recorded/produced by Sonic Boom, who knows a thing or two about repetition.

Thursday 18 January 2018

And So The Conversation Turned

I've said it before- sometimes you find a picture and that drives the post rather than the other way around. That is the case today. Having found this picture of Joanne and Susan from The Human League, snapped for The Face in June 1986, I couldn't not post it. The only Human League song on my hard drive is this one...

(Keep Feeling) Fascination

That's a properly joyous blast of 1980s pop and no mistake. I do have at least one, maybe two of their albums on vinyl, and also their 1978 single Being Boiled, a pioneering piece of synth-art opening with some white noise and the words 'Ok, ready, let's do it'. Being Boiled was from the days before Joanne and Susan were plucked from the dancefloor by Phil Oakey and turned into pop stars while still at school. I think it's safe to say that this would cause their school a few safeguarding issues today. Not to mention the tracking of their progress towards their predicted GCSE grades. The 1980s- a time when pop groups didn't have to worry about Ofsted.

Wednesday 17 January 2018


Tapan are a duo from Belgrade, about to release an album called Europa- stick that in your referendum Nigel. They veer all over the place, from Middle Eastern rhythms to dub to weirded-out post punk, but always a step ahead. Europa has been remixed by Timothy J. Fairplay, a beguiling eight minutes for Wednesday morning. The Youtube commenters know the score:
  • crunchy beats 
  • a gargantuan tune full of hyperconsciosness sent to us from Tapans hideout faaaar beyond our Oort cloud
  • mhmmm
  • filthy and fat
  • (~)
  • some heavy shit

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Heat It Up

This will wake you up...

Wee Papa Girl Rappers were twins, Sandra and Samantha Lawrence (Total S and TY Tim), formerly backing singers for Feargal Sharkey, who had a few minor hits in the late 80s. Heat It Up (made with 2 Men And A Drum Machine) hit number 21, the double trouble rapping and chanting riding on a 1988 club rhythm (and coupled with a Kevin Saunderson remix). It got them on Top of The Pops. Follow up Wee Rule went top 10.

The version at the top is a recent re-edit from SanFranDisko and comes as a free download. I rather like it.

Monday 15 January 2018

Nova, Nebulae, Aurora

Let's start the week with something very long, hypnotic and uplifting. In 1992 this single by Lemon Interrupt (aka Underworld) came out on Junior Boys Own, Big Mouth on one side and Eclipse on the other. Eclipse is the pick of the two for me- thirteen minutes starting out with chugging beats, sweeping strings and a voice intoning 'nova, nebulae, aurora'. As it unfolds the Underworld keyboard sound starts to phase in and it becomes progressively more acid, and progressively more absorbing. A bit like shooting through the Channel Tunnel but between planets. Thirteen minutes well spent.


Sunday 14 January 2018

The Lowlife Has Lost Its Appeal

Many words have been written recently on blogs about Morrissey and his views in interviews and pronouncements. His statements on all sorts of political and social issues are starting to stand in the way of the music, becoming a barrier to being able to listen to the songs. Not his solo career, which is patchy anyway, but the songs made by The Smiths between 1983 and 1987, which are among the finest made by anyone at that time. So, to try to counter that here are a couple of songs from the early days of the group. If you try hard enough, switch off from now, and allow yourself to listen properly, be immersed in the music of Marr, Joyce and Rourke and words of Moz, you can block out the shite and be transported.

These two songs, both from their early days have a busy, clattery, garageband quality. Morrissey's lines in Jeane come straight from kitchen sink drama while Marr finds space to play rhythm and lead, the repeated circular riff sparkling. The Smiths recorded their debut album with Troy Tate but then dropped almost all the recordings, switching to John Porter. Only Jeane and the Tate mix of Pretty Girls Make Graves survived as official releases. Jeane was the B-side to second single This Charming Man.

Jeane (Troy Tate Mix)

Recorded for a Radio 1 David Jensen session in June 1983, These Things Take Time was one of Morrissey and Marr's earliest songs, with some ear-catching lyrical lines and ringing Rickenbacker guitar lines. I think the John Porter produced version is probably superior but there's nothing wrong with this.

These Things Take Time (David Jensen Session)

Saturday 13 January 2018

Heure d'Or

Steve Cobby proving that he can do the visuals just as well as he can do the audio- there's some breathtaking time lapse photography in this video, filmed by Steve on location in Croatia, New York, Japan and Hull. It plays very nicely indeed alongside some liquid electronic funk from his latest album, Hemidemisemiquaver.

In photography the golden hour is a period shortly after sunrise or before sunset during which daylight is redder and softer than when the sun is higher in the sky.

Friday 12 January 2018

Bordeaux Sequence

In 1987 Tony Wilson decided that Durutti Column needed modernising so he bought Vini Reilly a load of new electronic instruments and machinery- sequencers, drum machines and so on. Vini sat up all night trying to work out how to use them. The result was The Guitar And Other Machines, just recently re-issued in expanded form by Factory Benelux. I treated myself to it. The original album was one of the first DC records I bought and this expanded edition adds a lot to my now fairly worn vinyl copy. Vini's guitar playing and Bruce Mitchell's drums still dominate but set against the new sounds of 87. Occasionally it sounds a little dated, a bit too bright, or the sequencers judder a little, but mainly it sounds like Vini revitalised and energised, in touch with the then present. Like a lot of DC albums, there are great moments and a couple of so-so songs but the overall effect of the whole album from start to finish is the thing. At the heart of it is Bordeaux Sequence, a total joy, with some gorgeous cello halfway through and Vini's wife Pol on vocals. The drum machine pads away while Vini's fingers work their magic.

Bordeaux Sequence

How good is that?

The new box has 3 cds- the original album expanded with 3 bonus songs Vini recorded with Jez Kerr and Simon Topping of A Certain Ratio. One of them, 28 Oldham Street, pays tribute to the building that would become Dry Bar in 1989 (recently closed down). Another, LFO Mod, is a cracking piece of experimental guitar and drum machine. Disc 2 rounds up related releases including the wonderful Italian only e.p. Greetings 3, some 'sporadic recordings' from that time, the follow up to 28 Oldham Street (30 Oldham Street) and a cover of White Rabbit. Disc 3 is almost worth the price of admission alone, a recording of Durutti Column  live at The Bottom Line in New York in October 86 and two songs from their appearance at WOMAD in 1988. You can buy it here.

Thursday 11 January 2018

Five Foot One

At the end of the 1970s Iggy released his fourth solo album, New Values. His solo albums from this point on have a bad reputation- a pile up of major label issues, poor or inappropriate backing bands and/or producers and lifestyle choices. And drugs. New Values survives this slew of rotten records, partly because of the presence of former Stooges James Williamson and Scott Thurston on production and guitar, and partly because there are some good songs on it. It's a bit new wave in places, an attempt by Arista to shift some units (which failed, it charted at number 180). Let's be frank- it's not the equivalent of The Stooges albums and it's not the equal of his Bowie/Berlin albums but New Values sounds good. The title track, The Endless Sea, I'm Bored ('I'm the chairman of the bored') all stand out. And this one.

Five Foot One

Iggy takes his height and turns it into a strutting virtue, over squally guitar and bass and spare, rattly 1979 drums. The opening two verses set out Iggy's way of looking at the world...

'I'm only five foot one
I got a pain in my neck
I'm looking up in the city
What the hell, what the heck

I stare at the concrete
The girders eye high
The steel's above me
There's love in my eyes'

...and the chorus concludes...

'And I'm doing the things
A five foot one man can do'

There's a branching off into...

'And I wish life could be
Swedish magazines'

Iggy doesn't specify which Swedish magazines- it could be the Ikea catalogue but I suspect he was referring to more adult publications. More five foot one man perspective follows...

'I'm only five foot one
I got a pain in my heart
All the night I'm working
In the amusement park

With a bottle of aspirin
A sack full of jokes
I wish I could go home
With all the big folks'

Iggy finishes, aged 32, with the conclusion 'I won't grow anymore' and sings it like he wouldn't want any more height even if it was offered to him. 

While writing this post I discovered that there was a video made to promote it. He takes his shirt off in it. No surprises there. But the video and comments led me to some fact checking and the internet seems to be pretty sure that Iggy isn't five foot one, he is in fact five foot seven (171 cm) which is (according to a celebrity height comparison website) an inch shorter than the average celebrity (2-3 inches shorter than both Bowie and Lou Reed). So Iggy has reduced his height by 6 inches for the authorial purposes of this song, identifying as a shorter man than he actually is. 

I don't know where he put those missing 6 inches. 

Wednesday 10 January 2018

See That Cat?

Fun House is the most conceptually perfect garage rock album. Side 1 has four songs built around stripped back repetition- repetitive guitar riffs, metronomic drums, reductive lyrics/vocals- recorded live in the studio and as electric and alive as any band has ever been. Down On The Street, Loose, TV Eye, Dirt. Iggy and the 3 Stooges absolutely on it. Side 2 is a little wilder- 1970, Fun House and L.A. Blues bring in a looser feel and Steve Mackay's punk rock saxophone. If there is a better recording and expression of being in a garage band than these 7 songs, I've yet to hear it.

From the Fun House boxed set, The Complete Fun House Sessions, this is the first take of TV Eye, opening with a run around the drum kit, some studio chatter, Iggy introducing the song and then the holler of 'Looorrd!'. According to Kathy Ashton, younger sister of the Ashton brothers Ron and Scott (guitar and drums respectively), TV Eye stood for Twat Vibe, slang among her and her friends to signal a man who was leering at them. Iggy took this and turned it into a song.

TV Eye (1st Take)

Tuesday 9 January 2018


In 2016 Tim Burgess (Charlatan) put out an album he'd recorded with Peter Gordon (Love Of Life Orchestra and Arthur Russell collaborator). It was a funny record, full of hidden treasure- synths, drum machines, saxophone and Tim's sweetly sung vocals. This remix of the opening song by Carter Tutti (formerly Chris and Cosey and of Throbbing Gristle) is lovely, gliding by, leaving you better than it found you.

It was on free download on Soundcloud for a while but isn't any more (but you might find it here).

Monday 8 January 2018

Why Why Why

Back to it this morning- early start, work clothes, motorway etc etc. It's all a bit of a shock after two weeks off.

This Leo Mas and Fabrice version of The Woodentops' Why Why Why is one way to ease the pain and lessen the blow. Eight minutes of sun dappled groove.

Why Why Why (Balearic Militant Dub)

Sunday 7 January 2018


Daniel Avery turned in at NTS Radio on January 2nd and played an hour of tunes. This starts off gentle and beatless, gradually gathering pace and turning up the heat. He's going to be back on a monthly basis. Expect drones, washes of synth noise, minimalism and techno.

Kurt Baggaley- Remembering Infinity
Uon- Kissing
Second Woman- IE/P
Aphex Twin- Xepha
Volruptus- Alien People
Iona Fortune- Kun
Versalife- QU/AD
Anthony Linell- Separated From Other Bodies
Opuswerk- Extensum
JK Flash- Exit Stance
Cassegrain- Decagon

Saturday 6 January 2018

January's Not For Everyone

Here we are, almost a week in 2018, and Bagging Area has been Weatherall free. Fear not- he was back at NTS on January 4th for Music's Not For Everyone with music from Thor And Friends, Erick Le Grand, Crypt Vapor, Peter Gordon and the Love Of Life Orchestra, Kolomensky, Thee J Johanz, Penya, The Diabolical Liberties, Basement 5, Joe Gibbs, Winston Edwards, Eye Of Others, The Walkabouts, Krzysztof Komeda, The Orb, Serpent Power, The Smoke, The Pretty Things, The Turnstyle and Toby Tobias. Proving, if nothing else, that Weatherall plays the bands with the best names.

Friday 5 January 2018

National Pastime

Drew wrote a post a while ago saying that blogging often seems to be about exposing the obscure, bringing to light long forgotten songs and the ones that got missed. In the spirit of that here is an absolute lost gem, a Factory Records B-side by Stockholm Monsters, straight outta Burnage. This song was the flipside to All At Once, released in June 1984.

Opening with clattering drums and a low slung bass, then a beautifully naive topline and a wonderful non-singer's vocal. Produced by Peter Hook and lost by a record company who wouldn't pay for pluggers and promotion because they believed the music would sell itself. If this was the only song they'd released, they'd still more than deserve a place in a version of mid-80s indie scene. A little slice of perfection.

National Pastime

Thursday 4 January 2018

Over Again

The Charlatans 2017 album Different Days seems to have been a bit of an opinion splitter. A bunch of good songs with a few skippers is my view- not as good as Modern Nature but better than some of the albums that they put out in the 00s. The newest single from it, Over Again, came out on green vinyl just after Christmas (to match the green Sproston Green sweatshirt modelled above). Over Again is a breezy, lighter than air kind of song, driven by some early 90s drums.

It's been followed by a remix by Bagging Area favourites A Certain Ratio, a loose limbed groove with Tim's vocals intact and added whistles and squiggles. The end section in particular could have come straight from ACR:MCR. Put it with the Barry Adamson one they remixed last year.

Wednesday 3 January 2018

This Wasn't Supposed To Happen

I was in Top Shop the other day- with my teenage daughter, just to provide some context- and this song started playing over the in-store sound system.


It took me a moment to place it but it sounded really good, thumping away over the bright lights and rails of clothes. Its unexpectedness, a 27 year old song in among what they'd been playing beforehand, was part of it. But it sounded good on its own terms too- the loose early 90s drums, the synth horns and funky guitar riff and Bjork's vocals (Einar's contribution too). I always think that as a band they never matched the songs on Life's Too Good but at the tail end of 2017 I was proved wrong. I'm happy to be proved wrong with music.

As a bonus here they are on The Word in December 1991 (the sound is a bit patchy I'm afraid).

Tuesday 2 January 2018

January Mix

Early January. Well done if you actually know what day it is. My calendar tells me it's Tuesday but you could tell me it was any day of the week and I'd probably believe you. Reality has a habit of snapping back in in early January- my commiserations if you're back at work today.

This is a completely remixed version of Perpetual Dawn, done by The Orb themselves, for their 1991 remix album The Aubrey Mixes: The Ultraworld Excursion (the album was released and deleted on the same day). Starting out with a burst of noise and radio voices and turning down the reggae influences from the original mix, January Mix 3 transforms slowly, adding Gregorian chanting and finally gathering pace in the sixth minute, and ending with the screech of tyres. Good work Alex and Thrash, job done.

Perpetual Dawn (January Mix 3)

Monday 1 January 2018


Morning. If it is morning when you're reading this. Hope you're feeling alright. On January 1st 2010 I published my first post here at Bagging Area. Today, 3441 posts and 9727 comments later, the blog turns 8. Thank you to all of you who read it, thanks especially to those who comment, and here's to a few more. I never really set a deadline or expiry date when starting out. I'll keep going as long as there is something to write about I  suppose. Like this...

Songs with 8 in the title aren't numerous. This is a 1985 R.E.M. song about a passenger train running through the southern states. The chorus goes ''and the train conductor says 'take a break driver 8, driver 8 take a break, we can reach our destination but we're still a ways away''. In 2008 Michael Stipe introduced Driver 8 live by saying 'this is a song that represents great hope and great promise, a song that represents the dream of the United States of America'. So it's about that too.

Driver 8

This is from 1990's still stunning 90 album this is a song that pays tribute to a drum machine. An attention grabbing intro followed by rave synths and beats with a great breakdown section.


In the days when football teams were numbered 1-11 number 8 was always a central midfielder- not the flash captain figure of the number 7 shirt and not the centre forward of number 9 but in between, a gutsy, hard tackling midfielder, someone who did the simple things well and chipped in with the odd goal. In the 90s Paul Ince and Nicky Butt were the number 8 shirt wearers at United. In the 80s the shirt belonged to Gordon Strachan and Remi Moses (and for a season apiece Ashley Grimes and Ray Wilkins). In the picture below Remi is to the left of Diego Maradona in a European Cup Winners Cup second leg at Old Trafford, one of the greatest games I've attended. Diego barely got a look-in all night. The first leg had finished 2-0 to Barcelona. The return leg was won 3-0 by United, with goals from Bryan Robson and Frank Stapleton, but the end to end performance of Remi was behind it. In the next round he marked and tackled Michel Platini of Juventus out of the game. Injury forced him to retire in 1988, aged just 28.