Archive for August 12th, 2007

August 12, 2007

MP3 OF THE WEEK: Beverley Knight – Black Butta mp3

“Got me excited, my fuses have blown, you got me delighted now, don’t leave me alone, you got me ignited, I’m ready to blow!”

I’ve been a cautious fan of Beverley Knight’s since I first saw her on ‘Later’ a few years ago. Jools Holland gets her in every series and no matter who is on that week, she blows them out of the water with an old Soul standard or a bit of acapella Gospel. But whenever she came to release an album I was greeted by lukewarm modern Soul, weak UK-Garage or even (On her last album) a misjudged new Rock direction. Every time she released a new record I would pray that this was gonna be the one where she finally got some material, some musicians and a great producer to do her stunning voice justice.

It seems that to reach her full potential Dusty had to go to Memphis, but Beverley had to go to Nashville. Her 5th album ‘Music City Soul’ is almost everything I could have hoped for and feels earthy, sexy and soulful. As you would expect when she performed this new material on ‘Later’ it was gobsmacking, ranking as two of the best performances I’ve ever seen on ‘Later’ or ever seen on TV for that matter. One song was the sensational ‘Ain’t That A Lot Of Love’ and the other was called ‘Black Butta’. She screeches, moans and roars like a lioness, putting every fibre of her being into the song. It’s one of the sexiest songs you’re gonna hear all year and even though phrases like “I’m sweet black butta babe, spread it all over you” sound like nonsense on paper, when they come exploding from Beverly Knight’s vocal chords, you know exactly what the girl’s talkin’ about!

Beverley Knight – Black Butta mp3

Click here to buy ‘Music City Soul’ from HMV for only £6.99.

Here are YouTube clips of those two amazing ‘Later’ performances: Black Butta / Ain’t That A Lot Of Love

Beverley Knight Website / Beverley Knight MySpace / Beverley Knight Fansite

August 12, 2007

ANTHONY H. WILSON: 1950-2007

“I’m not afraid, not at all, I watch them all as they fall, but I remember when we were young”

Writer, journalist, presenter of the legendary ‘So It Goes’ and of course boss of Factory Records, Anthony H. Wilson died on Friday 10th August aged 57 from cancer.

Like allot of younger people, I only really found out about Tony Wilson through the brilliant 2002 film ’24 Hour Party People’. After all, I was still wearing nappies when Factory Records was in it’s prime. It was a film that painted him as a self-obsessed, pretentious egomaniac. But it also showed his ‘Fuck the money’, ‘Lets make art that endures’ attitude that made him a thoroughly likeable, nay heroic character. Indeed this approach made little or no money for himself or his artists but what wondrous things they produced with him at the helm, cocooning his bands from record-industry worries like “Mass appeal” and “Uncommercial”. If mankind survives to reach out into the stars in a thousand years time, there will still be teenagers dressed in black space-suits listening to ‘Unknown Pleasures’.

Here is the Factory Records holy-trinity, three of the finest, most groundbreaking singles to have come out of Britain:

Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart mp3
New Order – Blue Monday mp3
Happy Mondays – Step On mp3

Here are some great Wilson clips from YouTube: Interview In Hulme / Tony Meets God – 24HPP Clip / Short Tony Wilson Doc / The Fall on SIG / Joy Division – Transmission / Sex Pistols on SIG / Newsnight Obit Part 1 / Newsnight Obit Part 2

Click here to buy the ’24 Hour Party People’ DVD from Amazon.

Click here to search Ebay for a copy of the out of print 4-disc set ‘Palatine: The Factory Story’ on Ebay.

A final note, as of 12.02 pm GMT… Simon Cowell is still alive.

August 12, 2007

RICHARD HAWLEY – Tonight The Streets Are Ours (2x CD Singles)

Mute CDMUTE382 / LCDMUTE382: 6th August 2007
1. Tonight The Streets Are Ours
“Those people, they got nothing in their souls, and they make our TVs blind us, from our vision and our goals”
2. Vickers Road
“Do you remember Fridays and the pop wagon, sold by dodgy lads fresh out of prison, it was s’posed to last us all through the week, we’d drink it all in one night, then we couldn’t get to sleep”
3. I Sleep Alone (Live At Sheffield City Hall)
“Deeper, I’m goin’ deeper, seeping below the darkest thoughts of man, the thoughts of man, through these thoughts I sleep alone”
4. Coming Home (Live At Sheffield City Hall)
“Goin’ to the station, it’s time for me to go, don’t think that I will miss you, when that whistle blows”

I read an interview today where Richard Hawley described ‘Tonight The Streets Are Ours’ as a political song about Britain’s ASBO sub-culture.  This meaning had escaped me, much like the meaning of ‘Standing In The Way Of Control’, which was an equally ‘Subtle’ protest song.  However, the lyrics are something you can contemplate after you’ve drifted away on the shimmering waves of massed Strings, layers of Guitars and even the rarely heard click of the Castanets.  Of course Richard Hawley’s deeply romantic vocals are as heartbreakingly beautiful as you’d expect.  The angelic backing vocals instantly reminded me of the song that played over the closing credits of ‘Stringray’.  It was later that I noticed that the liner notes credited Sally Doherty with providing “Aquamarina Vocals”.

B-side ‘Vickers Road’ is even better and has a much more restrained production for those that might find the A-side a little too much.  It’s a warmly nostalgic look back at the simplicity of childhood when the street where you lived seemed like the whole world.  The vocal is so intimate that you can almost smell the bread baking, and feel the sun shining when he describes it.

The live version of last-album-highlight ‘I Sleep Alone’ starts off with Richard crooning over a lonely acoustic Guitar.  Then the band slowly come in, bit by bit, like the instruments are his friends gathering round to soothe him in his despair.  The best bit is when he’s humming the melody and the Harmonica whistles the same melody back at him.  ‘Coming Home’ is lovely too, God I wish I had been in Sheffield that night.

Click here to buy Richard Hawley albums from HMV.

Here are links to watch Richard’s typically beautiful videos: Baby You’re My Light / Coles Corner / Just Like The Rain / Born Under A Bad Sign / Tonight The Streets Are Ours

Here’s a whole load of acoustic songs that Richard’s site is kindly hosting for free:

Richard Hawley – The Nights Are Cold (Acoustic) mp3
Richard Hawley – I’m On Nights (Acoustic) mp3
Richard Hawley – It’s Over Love (Acoustic) mp3
Richard Hawley – Darlin’ (Acoustic) mp3
Richard Hawley – Precious Sight (Acoustic) mp3

Also, here are two of my favourite B-sides:

Richard Hawley – I’m Just Here To Get My Baby Out Of Jail mp3 (Everly Brothers cover)
Richard Hawley – Some Candy Talking mp3 (Jesus & Mary Chain cover)

Richard Hawley Website / Richard Hawley MySpace