Saturday, 14 May 2011

Straight On Till Morning

I love this film, and not just because I wish I looked like this man.

In my mind, this is what the whole world looks like...

Get the proto-hauntology band look.

Some words by me:

Friday, 11 March 2011

Drunken nonsense

I've just played a piece of vinyl from 1974. It's brand new. Never been played until now. That piece of wax (lordy, I always feel like a tit when I say that) has been around longer than I have. And it's just been sat there on the shelf. Waiting.

Presumably it's gone from owner to owner, but never been taken out of its sleeve. And now it's mine. I don't really have anything to add to that but, y'know, weird. It makes me think of all the other old records and books just out there on shelves, in boxes, long after the labels and publishing companies have dissolved. Just waiting to be discovered and come alive.

The record was Sacrifice by Mandingo, incidentally. Yeah, not exactly a lost classic...!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Crows, ghosts, the midnight coast...


And thank fuck for that. So far, 2011 has sucked quite badly. Here's to things improving...

But before I head back up North (I know... wish me luck...), here's a couple of new reviews, all originally published in Clash - which has just had a redesign and looks bloody lovely. See you shortly people.

Tinchy Stryder – Third Strike

After conquering the worlds of grime and fashion you'd think Stryder would be feeling pretty confident, yet much of Third Strike seems preoccupied with addressing his doubters. He doth protest too much. At this point his position as grime's most bankable asset looks unassailable, and this will sell a bazillion. Which is fine, if MOR rap with radio-friendly 'grit' are your thing. The problems come when Stryder strives for soulful, and comes up with Stinking Bishop like the Taio Cruz collab 'Second Chance'. It's all inoffensive stuff. But people of the UK, is that what you want from your rappers?

Rating: 4/10

Roedelius – Selbstportrait 1 and Selbstportrait Vol. 2

Two of the visionary Cluster man's solo releases get a long-awaited reissue. It's quiet, contemplative stuff; with little-to-no percussion, dreamy analog soundscapes emerge from a fog of tape hiss. Hardly the records to put on if you're in the mood for dancing, but two volumes worth of sparse electronic sketches make for an absorbing journey into the great man's mind.

Rating: 7/10

Broken Records - Let Me Come Home

Oh goody, another “new Arcade Fire”. But wait! There’s more to the Scottish sextet’s second album than that comparison suggests. Sure, they share a love of sound, fury and huge emotional peaks, but there’s a vein of gentle folk beneath the bombast.

‘A Darkness Rises Up’ is furiously upbeat and affecting, while ‘Dia Dos Namarados!’ recalls one of Nick Cave’s murder ballads. Over the course of the album, the grandiosity gets wearying, and Jamie Sutherland occasionally sounds like Vic Reeves in full club singer mode. But, at its best, ‘Let Me Come Home’ is a thing of troubled beauty.


And finally, a link to Telekinesis:

Friday, 11 February 2011


Tomorrow night in Bath! Me n' Joss n' Louie will be playing an oddball selection of vinyl curiosities in the city's finest pub. And it's free to get in! Come along and drink yer fill of Bath's strongest ales in fine company. And then do it all over again on the 26th. Go on, it's almost certainly better than staying in for Casualty.

Then, in April, we've got a special performance from all-lady Monks tribute band, the Nuns!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011


Music is emotion. And the emotion I experience when I listen to Broadcast is joy.

I can’t number the reasons why I love this band so much. The opening discordant notes of I Found The F before the drums crash in; Valerie’s beautiful delirium; Come On Let’s Go’s sage advice (“stop looking for answers in everyone’s face”); walking through Bath in the snow with Winter Now on... too many reasons.

I first heard of Broadcast around the time of The Noise Made By People, I think. There was a piece in the fondly remembered (by me anyway) Jockey Slut, and I was struck by their look. If the Tomorrow People formed a band, they’d look like Broadcast did back then. To me, that remains the height of cool.

Still, I think it took me until 2006 before I actually properly listened to them. That year was tough, but music helped. The Future Crayon became a favourite. Then in 2007 I met my girlfriend and we discovered Tender Buttons together.

I’m writing this because I wanted to express my sadness at the loss of Trish Keenan last week. My own feelings are, of course, utterly insignificant compared to what her family, friends and loved ones must be going through. But I wanted to say what I never got to say to Trish in person: I listen to Broadcast every day. They’re my favourite band and have been for the last few years. Basically, I think they rule.

Rest in peace Trish, and thank you for everything.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

10 for 2010

Erk. Yes, I'm late with this.

Ten faves from 2010.

10. Jónsi - Go

9. Pye Corner Audio - Black Mill Tapes Vol. 1

8. The Advisory Circle - Mind How You Go (Revised edition)

7. LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening

6. Vampire Weekend - Contra

5. Moon Wiring Club - A Spare Tabby At The Cat's Wedding

4. Kenny Graham and His Satellites - Moondog and Suncat Suites

3. Umberto - Prophecy Of The Black Widow

2. Matthew Dear - Black City

1. Liars - Sisterworld

Bubbling under

Massive Attack - Heligoland
Charlotte Gainsbourg - IRM
Caribou - Swim
Arcade Fire - The Suburbs