DELS’ album ‘GOB’ features guest appearances and production credits from luminaries like Joe Goddard, Kwes and Roots Manuva. Highlight ‘Capsize’ is an anthem for life in modern-day Britain featuring swipes at the Tories, Bankers and the Tabloids:
Focus’ 1972 appearance on The Old Grey Whistle test has long been one of my all time favourites. Watch below as Guitarist Jan Akkerman pisses himself laughing at the yodeling even as he plays some face melting guitar…
It was buying the box-set of the magnificent sitcom Saxondale (Focus provide most of the music) that lead me to check out their excellent ‘Best Of’. Focus dance a merry jig at the crossroads leading to Jazz, Metal, Prog and medieval Folk:
I’d heard Tyler, The Creator’s skills were impressive and his recent Camden show was nearly a riot. I’d also heard his rhymes had “The potential to offend”, to put it politely. All this is true and it’s up to you if you take his rhymes as irony i.e. genius or serious i.e. massively offensive (personally I’d go for the former). Here’s my favourite cut from his new LP ‘Goblin’:
Gablé’s 2nd long-player is an even crazier journey into tripped-out Folk, sampling and twisted lyrical imagery than his first. At one point a random polka sample cuts in, before the song carries on as if you just dreamt it. This is an album for lovers of ambitious experimental double LPs that take you on a journey (DO NOT listen on shuffle… experience it, er… man!?!):
I’ve yet to see the new ‘Upisde Down’ documentary about the history of Creation records but I bought a copy of the soundtrack. Among the obvious cuts by Oasis, The Boo Radleys and Primal Scream are some less familiar gems to saviour:
Quite unaccountably I’ve never listened to note one of the B52′s before. I was missing out as their suave blend of angular New-Wave and 50′s Rock’n'Roll nostalgia is right up my street. Check out their faultless 1979 debut album for cuts like this:
Ghostpoet’s wittily titled album ‘Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam’ is a landscape of sparse beats and introspective rhymes. There are many great tracks but for my money this the best:
I’ve finally digested the free ‘Camden Crawl 2011′ Compilation issued to attendees. It’s got a fairly high hit rate, quality wise with the following being my favourites (Although I didn’t actually see either of these acts, oh well):
‘D-I-Y’ is yet another interesting and well researched compilation from Soul Jazz Records. It’s aim is to dig out rare and essential post-punk independent music from back in the day. Standout tracks include:
EMA’s musical world melds the hymnal noise of Spiritualized, The Velvet Underground’s more Avant-Garde moments and the beat-poetry of Patti Smith. ‘Past Life Martyred Saints’ is an album to listen to in the dark so you wallow in its rumbling, emotional soundscapes:
I arrived at Rough Trade to see Tennessee band Mona do an in-store only to discover they hadn’t turned up. The guy at the counter said a sore throat meant they had to cancel the performance so they agreed to do a signing instead. Except they later decided they couldn’t be bothered with that either so cancelled that too. With Mona resolutely inked into my black books I cast around for something else to do…
‘The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adèle Blanc-Sec’ is the latest offering from the occasionally patchy hand of French Director/Visionary Luc Besson. Fortunately this movie is up there with his best work. It’s a comic-fantasy-adventure melding the quirky humour of ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’, the excitement of ‘Raiders Of The Lost Ark’ and the fantastical vision of Besson’s own ‘The Fifth Element’ (I wonder if the Aziz in this film is the father of the “More light Aziz” character from The Fifth Element?!?!?). Since these are three of the greatest movies ever made I had allot of fun watching this. The CGI characters are lifelike and funny, Louise Bourgoin is heart-stoppingly gorgeous as Adèle and the cliffhanger that sets up a possible sequel is a masterstroke!
The film is based on the long running French Comic book by Jacques Tardi. I will have to try and track down some copies of the few volumes that have been translated into English.
When Ghostpoet started playing a the back of Rough Trade East it was just me standing there watching. Luckily for him technical difficulties intervened after the first track and they retired for 20 mins to sort them out. By the time they came back on stage the shop was pretty much packed (Such is Bricklane punctuality!). The gig was free to promote his new single ‘Survive It’ and of course his brilliantly titled LP ‘Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam’. The set built track by track towards the final performance of the new single which I shot on my iPhone and you can watch it below.
‘United Provinces Of India’ by Cornershop featuring Bubbley Kaur is currently rockin’ my musical world so I thought I’d point everyone in the direction of it’s brilliance:
Here’s the video:
Also here’s the brand new haircuttastic video for ‘Supercomputed’:
The day after my thirthieth birthday I decided to make a nostlagic pilgramage to Newcastle to visit some of the old Indie record shops where I spent countless hours as a student (10 years ago). At the back of my mind I was half expecting they would’ve all caved in to financiar pressures and I was in for a day of disapointments. How wrong I was…
The first place I sought out was the tiny Boxset stuffed frontage of Reflex Records. This was by far my favourite haunt as they always offred 3 for 2 deals on CDs so I would usually go in to get a specific album I’d crave and then pick up another two as well. The other two would consist of a more obsure LP I’d heard was good and other record I’d grab just because the sleeve looked cool. Reflex have a great and varied stock of intersting Punk records you won’t find anywhere else and you can almost be gaureented that anything you pick up off the racking is going to be great.
Today it looks the same as always and is just as good. As before I went for the 2 for 3 deal picking out ‘Big Star’s – #1 Record’, ‘The Best Of Tony Joe White’ and ‘The Flamin Groovies’ Flamingo’.
Next I crossed the street and entered the gorgeous Edwardian tiled promenade that is the Central Arcade, home of J.G. Windows LTD Music & Instrument shop. It used to stock a good collection of fine psychedelic and progressive records in the basement but oday the music is upstairs alongside the instruments. I remember spending quite a bit of time staring at the Guitars in the big windows Wayne’s World “Oh yes it will be mine” style. Today I spent a while drooling over Springsteen’s expensive ‘Darkness On The Edge Of Town’ boxset while the shop assistant tried to help me talk myself in to buying it (Fortunately without success). But I didn’t walk out empty handed, I grabbed a copy the 20th anniversary edition of Nirvana’s ‘Bleach’ because it has a whole live concert as a bonus.
After a couple of trips into Forbidden Planet and Travelling Man Comics to hunt down a couple of ellusive volumes of ‘Lone Wolf & Cub’ I headed to RPM Music. As I got halfway down the alley I was horrorified by the shuttered-up, red-paint-peeling frontage that presented me. As I looked closer I sighed in relief as I saw the “We have moved” sign. My best memory of RPM was going down there to get a Jon Spencer LP and instead being reccomended an import EP by some then little known band called the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (A top tip I tink you’ll agree).
The new black shop is a little smaller but still has all the same charm as when it was round the corner. The friendly guy at the counter kept pointing out potential purchases that I’d missed and such is the quality of it’s stock that I actually had to put a few items back before heading for the till as my wallet was protesting at the four I’d already selected. I got three CDs including ‘Dan Sartain Lives’, ‘The Zombies’ The CBS Years 1967 – 1969′ and I finally got myself a copy of ‘The Dead Weather’s Sea Of Cowards’. I also picked up a Limited Record-Store-Day exclusive 7″ from The View covering The Tweeds powerpop classic ‘I Need That Record’. The original is my favourite Geek-Record-Collector song so a new version was irrresistable. Afterall it does feature lines like…
“You’ve got to live for the music if you wanna stay alive… collecting all the records from 1965!”
Unfortunately I didn’t get time to see if the great Steel Wheels (Home of a huge collection of rare Iggy bootlegs) was still there. Maybe I’ve got rose tinted spectacles, but there’s something missing about London record shops compared to Newcastle record shops. The Geordie staff are smiling, friendly and they love having a chat about the records. Also the selections are just better, they don’t stock much crappy Pop but they don’t stock much trendy Avant-Garde bollocks either. They are just little aladdin’s caves, stocked wall to wall with musical adventures waiting to be had.
Shame I couldn’t stick around ’til the evening for a trip to my favourite Newcastle Club ‘World Headquarters’. They used to have shelves setup behind the DJ booth with all the LPs that the DJ was playing so you could stare at the artwork while you danced all night to Marvin Gaye and Public Enemy.
This was my first time attending the annual Camden Crawl music festival. I only went on the Sunday evening due to work commitments so next year I’ll definitely be booking the whole weekend off so I can do the whole thing.
We started off by heading to the plushly decored Annie’s Bar to see Polarbear’s set. He delivered his songs/poems as spoken word pieces or rapped them backed by his DJ and collaborator Session, as the mood took him. He was my highlight of the evening and quite possibly the year so far as well. He rhymed tales of bitter-sweet nostalgia and his spoken word reading of ‘Fade To Black aka Jessica’ got the biggest cheer at the end (Enhanced by the fact that you could’ve heard a pin drop during the tale). At the end he handed out free 12″ EPs to the front row (Including lucky old me) because his missus is apparently sick of them being piled under their bed! Here’s a taster of that very EP:
I also filmed him on my iPhone performing ‘Keep It Simple’:
Next up we went over to the backroom of The Dublin Castle to see The Cocknbullkid. We got there just in time to see a set from an Indie band with the intriguing name of The History Of Apple Pie. The muddy sound in the venue didn’t do them any favours but beneath that I could detect a rich seam of melodic C86 Indie-pop. I suspected they would be better on record and Indeed they are, but you can judge for yourself:
After a swift pint of Guinness to cleanse my palate The Cocknbullkid waded through the audience and took the stage. I confess I haven’t listened to one note she’s released since her ace 2008 debut single. Judging by this set she’s been busy in my absence since song after song sounded like a hit and they all had a big instant soul chorus. I’m looking forward to her imminent debut LP ‘Adulthood’ with bated breath. Checkout this Soul Pop stomper:
Our next move was to grab some fast food from Macky-D’s (On the way we noted the huge cue for Tinchy Stryder outside the Jazz Cafe) before stepping into the darkened confines of The Black Cap. Team Ghost were onstage as we walked in playing an enthusiastic Metal take on Krautrock. The lead singer and guitarist delivered a great histrionic show with his fingers dancing across the fretboard while feeding the guitars back against each other. Unfortunately at that point I had to get the last tube home for an early start at work in the morning while my fellow crawlers went on to an apparently excellent set from Paris Suit Yourself back at The Dublin Castle. Oh well, we all have to earn a crust…
Stewart Lee is back for another series of his brilliant Comedy Vehicle on Wednesday nights on BBC Two (Thursday’s on BBCHD). On the evidence of the first episode ‘Charity’ it’s gonna be as good as the first series. He’s dropped most of the sketches and instead intersperses the standup with more mock interviews with Armando Iannucci. Only a comedian of Lee’s calibre can stand in silence for twenty seconds and then get a huge laugh by simply saying “Plain”.
The first episode is available to watch on the BBC website for the next month by clicking here where you’ll also find reams of bonus content.
Had to post the new suitably messianic video for The Indelicates’ ‘I Am Koresh’: