Thursday, December 21, 2006


Ho Ho Ho

It's that time of the year again, and tomorrow as soon I get back from work I'll be loading the car and then off on a five or six hour journey to a rather small ski resort called Supper Besse in the Massif Central where the family and me will be holed up over the holiday period. Bad luck means that I must be back in Nimes Thursday and Friday, before returning to my family and the snow drenched peaks for another long week-end, what this does mean is that me having no internet access on the ski slopes there will be radio silence, as they used to say, here at Sound Of The Suburbs for the next few days. Do try to enjoy yourselves, I do even if don't always succeed! I've chosen some Christmas themed music for you from lets just say some of the more classy acts.

1. John Cale - 'A Childs Christmas In Wales'
2. Randy Newman - 'Christmas In Capetown'
3. Willard Grant Conspiracy - 'Christmas In Nevada'
4. Jacobites - 'Teenage Christmas'
5. The Waitresses - 'Christmas (W)Rapping'
6. Go Home Productions - 'Carpenters Christmas'
7. Go Home Productions - 'Christmas In Boston'

I think that's enough, don't you?
The image comes from the cartoon book 'Father Christmas' by one of the true masters of the medium Raymond Briggs. It was he that was responsible for the immortal 'Fungus The Bogeyman' that kept us amused for hours upon an end as students in the post punk fall out of London's suburbs at the end of the 70's. He also wrote the classic anti nuclear tome 'When The Wind Blows' that again touched a vein with my generation back then. I would strongly recommend his works if you don't already know them.
So that's it hope to be back mid week, with all my bones in tact!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Made In France

Top French music and cultural magazine les Inrockuptibles has been running a demo tape competition for the last three years that goes under the name of CQFD (an expression meaning what you should discover) for the last five years. The principle is very simple, send them a song and the journalists will listen to it, and choose 21 best tracks that are then pressed up for a cover mounted CD, and from then on it's the readers that decide by voting. This year the journalists got to tease their ears with 7 000 tapes! And the prize? A live concert broadcast on national station Le Mouv, studio time and who knows maybe fame? I'm going to share three songs from the CD with you, I am not going to pretend that they are the best as there were eight songs that grabbed my attention and these three just happen to be my favorites today and of course this may well not be the case tomorrow.

They have a very English sounding name but despite this they sing in their native tongue.This five piece from Rennes, Northern France, offer 'Melody' a dreamy child like slice of low-fi indie pop that drags you in under it's spell from it's first bars. They claim to have Gainsbourg and Sinatra as grandparents, Nirvana and Radiohead as parents, Beck as their older brother and Surfjan Stevens as their sister! Sounds like quite some family! Check out their MySpace here.

They claim to originate from a mix of the Brackmard Corporation, a gang a car thieves situated in Mexico and the greatest of superheros Captain America. They are non-political but do have the goal of replacing blue M&Ms with pink ones as this discrimination based on sex is unacceptable! In their own words their own brand of hip hop is out of date, decadent and happily mixes Eminem with the Beastie Boys. Their chosen track displays a finely tuned sense of humour for this contemporary concept over some lively and dancable beats, I'm sure they're the kind of band that warms up a cold hall. Their MySpace is here.

This last offering is my personal favorite at the moment. Their name comes from canis, meaning dog, this was how the bourgeois described the poor in the 19th century it is also the title of a revolutionary song sung by workers. As we can assume from such cerebral thoughts this band has a message, this can be heard loud and clear on 'Ni Dieu, Ni Maitre' (Neither God Nor Master), a cry against the way religion is being used to hinder advancement. Musically it subtle mix of beats and ethnic instruments such as a bouzouki that makes this as original as their ideas are interesting. Their musical roots range from funk, rap, chanson, rock, reggae, african, arabic, blues to down and out dirty hard rock, if they keep on producing tracks like this with no musical compromise they deserve to go a long way. MySpace here.

What you have probably realised is that today's trio of songs are all in French two of which being rap, hip hop call it what you want, what I do find is that the French language is much better suited to this style of music that traditional rock. Anyway I wish the bands involved good luck and may the best band win!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Nikki Sudden

From being a teenager onwards the highlight at the end of the year was not the presents neither was it getting pissed as we tended to that the rest of the year, but it was that strange object the NME double issue for the Christmas break! I really don't know if it still exists but back in it's hey day it provided us with much entertainment with it's 100 plus pages over the festive season. Apart from special articles, Mark E Smith was always in tune with the spirit of things, commissioned stories and poetry, wonderfully stupid photo spreads, agonising quizzes there were those end of year lists that you could pore over for hour and hours agreeing and disagreeing while you digested your Christmas meal and tried not to upset your extended family. I recently received a mail inviting me to partake in an end of the year top ten album list for another blog, it was while looking back on what I have purchased or obtained over the last 12 months that I stopped and listened again to 'The Truth Doesn't Matter' the final album from the talented hands of Nikki Sudden. I guess a fair number of you won't even know who he was, the past tense is used as his light went out after a gig in NYC on March 26 this year. Nikki was someone who was important to the greater picture largely thanks to his first band Swell Maps that he had formed with his brother Epic Soundtracks who also made his way to the great gig in the sky in November 1997. In their three year existence they released 2 albums and a number of single, cited as being influential by the likes of Sonic Youth and Pavement, their records often obtained ecstatic reviews from the press, what made them important above the music was the DIY/independent nature of their releases that really did show that anyone could do it themselves even a bunch of schoolboys from Croydon. Nikki and his brother were further supported by Geoff Travis who employed them behind the counter of his Rough Trade record shop in London before they were fired after having insulted one rasta too many.
Upon the disappearance of the Swell Maps, Nikki set upon a long solo career sometimes under the guise of the Jacobites, the many albums that he released were of varying quality and often plagued by bad luck. He was not the most fashionable of artists as he was not ashamed of sounding like his heroes: Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and T.Rex. Towards the end of his life it looked as though maybe things were changing he was at long last signed to a sympathetic record label, Secretly Canadian, that actually cared about about him and that had some clout in so far as the label was hip. The album recorded in his adopted home town of Berlin and mixed in London had been completed but not released by the time of his death. It is a very fitting epitaph that this record is probably his most complete album managing to be polished while retaining that loose Stones/Faces feel that he so loved. As was often his case his roots were more than evident and the album cover owes more than a little debt to Bolan's 'Slider'. Two tracks up for grabs today from the album 'The Ballad Of Johnny And Marianne' that is the sound of young New York City in the mid 60's with it's big Spector drum sound and native Italian gang style music . 'Green Shield Stamps' is in altogether another league, imagine that Dylan had been born in Croydon at the end of the 50's beginning of the 60's and maybe he would have come up with something like this, a touching homage to that long gone period and everything that was, well so British, pure nostalgia in fact not that different from what Like Haines has been doing for years.
So there you go just in case anyone does care my vote this year goes to Nikki Sudden and 'The Truth Doesn't Matter not the hippest of choices I know but a damn fine record and one hell of a way to go.

Monday, December 18, 2006


Peel Sessions 34

Last week-end I was alone at home, sitting in front of a blazing open fire, listening to some music while casually flicking through the pages of the latest batch of music mags to arrive here. My relationship with the music press is a strange one, I guess it's akin to an addiction, even when I think it's 100% rubbish I will still buy the next months editions, often I will only read a part of the articles as I think there is a limit to the amount of Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Oasis ......... articles one can consume in a lifetime, and then there is something interesting that grabs me, and so it was that I was happy to stumble across the Jarvis interview in December's Mojo. His comments on the great Britpop movement "There was no real kinship between bands. It was sad. There was no unity to it..........When success came people just got into it for themselves. There was no revolution; everybody just got into personal ego problems or drink problems or drug problems. Then everyone got a hangover and made bad tempered, downer albums", this got me thinking. Despite all of the obvious ego problems, and yes the remark about downer albums, I thought was spot on, this period in the UK did give us some very good music, even the first Oasis album sounded fresh, snotty and urgent at the time. Britpop, I do hate that term, had it's own royal couple in Damon Album and Justine Frischmann who held court in indie HQ Camden Town. Damon was of course the tonsils behind Blur and as for Justine she was founder of one the periods better bands Elastica. Inbetween parties and ligging obligations the band managed to record their excellent self titled album in 1995 after a string of successful singles, the album entered the UK charts at no.1. The band were not ashamed of their new wave roots and did not hide their influences, an advert for band members asked for Wire fans! They were accused in the press of lifting a melody here or a keyboard riff there from their late 70's heroes, this led to an eventual out of court settlement with the Stranglers for the loan of a part of 'No More Heroes'. Plagiarism aside the band remained extremely popular but creative inertia put an end to this as we waited six years for the follow up 'Menace', that as with the Stones Roses before them was deemed to be unworthy of all the fuss. Shame they could really have been something.
They graced the BBC studios on four different occasions for John Peel, the first of which was in September 1993, just one year after their forming from which 'Line Up' is taken, I think it still sounds very fresh today, true it does sound just a little bit like Wire's 'I Am The Fly', but I wouldn't have it any other way. Their last session was recorded in September 1999, just months after fellow original guitarist Donna Mathews quit the band. Their version of Trio's novelty hit 'Da Da Da' managed to put a smile on my face and the memories rushing back. These two songs can be found on the album 'BBC Sessions' that is currently only available in the US on Koch as the UK, Strange Fruit release is no longer on catalog. Seeing as Christmas is just around the corner I'm going to treat you to a song that was recorded for, well yes Christmas, 'I Wanna Be a King Of Orient Aah', their spelling not mine!
As for what has happened to Justine, well she split up with Damon in 1999, they're still good friends!!! She has co written with M.I.A. and produced demos for White Rose Movement. She has presented Television in the UK and gone back to school. If anyone cares there is an interesting interview with her from four years ago here.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Made In France

The job of rounding up this week of vinyl rips goes to a French band that I certainly hope that you are at least aware of their name if not their music, as along with Les Negresses Vertes, Mano Negra were the biggest selling French rock export of the 90's (the Gypsy Kings don't count as rock). The Band with their enigmatic leader Mano Chaos set fire to concert halls just about wherever they played with their explosive sets and on stage fun antics. After having independently released their debut album, 'Patchanka', they were snapped up by Virgin France who proceeded to turn this unruly bunch of radical music makers into international stars. Their fame was well deserved as they dished up a successful mix of musical styles, Ska, Punk, country, rap, oriental ......, that somehow or the other worked as they forged their own sound. 1990 was their year, as their groundbreaking second album 'Putas Fever' had hit the shops the previous year and was winning friends with every day that went by. To celebrate this success the band decided on a short tour of their home territory, Paris, and staying very true to the spirit of the album chose six venues, Erotika ; La Cigale ; New Moon ; Elysée Montmartre ; Narcisse ; Folies Pigalle, all situated in the Pigalle district that is of course known for it's lively nightlife, infact several of these venues were better known as strip clubs! The same year they released another single from the album, in it's 12" form it was accompanied by six live titles recorded during that tour, here are three of them for your pleasure.
1. 'Sidi B Bibi'
2. 'Darling Darling'
3. 'Magic Dice'

Friday, December 15, 2006


Kirks Equator

As the Who once said a quick one today. This band I know bugger all about, I received their 12" single by post back in 1992 as part of my weekly parcel of promos from Street's Ahead. I did actually listen to everything that they sent me and I found the A side of their 'Mormon Death Squad' single to be very good and so they received some airplay in France, though I rather doubt they sold any records here as it probably wasn't even distributed here. I actually have certain doubts as whether or not they were a real band and not somebody's side project as the label is full of humour, Osmondo Records and cat no. Donny 001! This aside the music was a stomping song very much in the vein of the the popular Pop Will Eat Itself. If anyone does know anything about the band I'd be only to happy to hear from them.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Power Of Dreams

I always thought this was a great name for a young band, after all youth is a period of life that is associated with optimism! The band were formed in Dublin as a three piece by the brothers Craig and Keith Walker. By the end of the eighties Keith Cullen had heard their demo and was only too keen to release their first single on his newly formed Setanta record label. The mainland press loved the single, 'A Little Piece Of God' and showered it with glowing reviews, this led to the band becoming very hot property. This in all fairness was also because of the record industries habit of trend following, the late eighties were after all when another Dublin band broke into the big time. The six figure bidding was was won by Polydor who wasted no time in packing their new hopes off to the studios. The resulting album 'Immigrants, Emigrants And Me' was also to be the target of good reviews but by now these were from the worldwide press. The band hit the road to support the release and it was in the early '90's that I caught them opening for the House of Love at a very large venue in Toulouse. They won me over they were fast, energetic, fun and had some great songs and so the next day I purchased the album, this was the way things were back then! One of the tracks that has always stood out in my head is 'Never Been To Texas' (sorry but this ones a CD rip) which is a countyfied slice of pop taking a humourous stab at U2 complete with it's Bono style rap. The album sold well in the UK, France and Japan, and in the words of the band the now four piece were having such a good time that they forgot to write the songs for the follow up, 1992's 'To Hell With Common Sense'. Now this is rather harsh as the album does have it's strong points including the bright single 'There I Go Again'. As was the trend at this period singles would be released in a number of different formats this one I have as a 10" vinyl with the added bonus of cover versions of the VU's 'Pale Blue Eyes' and Prince's 'The Cross'. But things were not going too well with their label and the band were dropped just one week after the album hit the shops. The band were picked up by Lemon Records for whom their next single 'Evil Evol' displayed more mature songwritting along with the loss of innocence and the arrival of more pessimistic lyrics. Plagued with label problems, Lemon were to go broke, the band soldiered on and played a farewell gig in their home town in 1995.
Since then Craig has recorded three albums as guitarist/collaborator with Archive, his brother Keith fronts the Paranoid Saints. If talk on their myspace page is to be believed the band are planning to get back together for two fun gigs one in London and one in Dublin in March 2007, this is almost tempting enough for me to buy a London bound ticket.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Get Out Of Control

I've never been a big follower of gothic, be it architecture, literature, clothes or music, for me the man in black is an appellation reserved for Johnny Cash. Having said that there are certain bands and songs that I will confess to liking, the Cure are fine, above all their more pop side but the image I can well do without, I will also freely admit to liking the Bauhaus debut single, originally a 12" only release on Small Wonder, 'Bela Lugosi's Dead' though after that they left me a cold as well a corpse! Daniel Ash, the Bauhaus guitarist went on to enjoy a successful career with Love and Rockets after splitting with Peter Murphy in 1983. As with many others he has also tempted a solo career with three albums for Beggars Banquet in the early nineties, the title track of the last of these from 1993 was actually an airtime favorite of mine from my radio days and for good reason as 'Get Out Of Control' is an up in your face pop song with trashy guitars, a big drum sound, generous bass line and a catchy chorus, in fact nothing like goth! For your further listening pleasure the 'Dub Excemahanic Mix' as featured on the long unavailable 12" single.

Monday, December 11, 2006


Peel Sessions 33

I was thinking of giving this weeks posts a special title, you know something along the lines of snap crackle and pop, as the whole of this week is going to be given over to vinyl rips. This has been possible not not by my own computing skills but thanks to the collaboration of Lub, who is the resident DJ at the Rockstore. When we started ripping my old vinyl, incidentally most of this dates from the early nineties, we had a long discussion on whether to clean up the sound or leave in the surface noise, the clicks or whatever, we decided on the later I hope this does not interfere with your listening pleasure.
keeping up our habit of a Peel session on Monday, I decided that there could be no better choice than that long time Peel favorite Ivor Cutler. The session was recorded and first broadcast in August 1977, and so one can well imagine one of Ivor's droll reflections on life being programmed between the Buzzcocks and some heavy dub import 45rpm, now that's what I call good radio! The session was produced by Tony Wilson, I guess this is not the same person that was behind Factory Records, or was it?
If there are people reading that do not know Ivor I would like to point out that he is not the cup tea for everyone, you will either love him or loathe him. I fall into the first category, it was without a doubt the period of this session that I first discovered him with his harmonium led songs, his simple but surreal poems and of course not forgetting his fictional recollections of his childhood. I saw him live on numerous occasions, often at a London theatre, though the image that has always stood in my mind is of when I saw him at a Camden Town Library and him passing us in the street on his bicycle as both parties were on their way to the venue. Live he made for a very good evening and despite is deep quiet Scottish voice was more than capable with dealing with the more rowdy members of the audience.
I would like to recommend the documentary 'Looking For The Truth With A Pin' that has recently been released, buy it before it disappears it is a great introduction to the man for newcomers while remaining interesting for long term fans with it's bonus of a recording of his farewell performance at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall in February 2004.
1. 'A Great Grey Grasshopper'
2. 'A Suck Of My Thumb'
3. 'The Schi'
4. 'Get Away From The Wall'
5. 'The Natural Height Of A Cloud'
6. 'If We Dug A Hole'
7. 'I Had A Little Boat'
8. 'I'm Going In A Field'
9. 'Life In A Scotch Sitting Room vol2 ep12'
10 'Life In A Scotch Sitting Room vol2 ep13'
11. 'Jungle Tip pt1'
12 'Jungle Tip pt2'
I hope you enjoy listening to this as much as I have and don't forget that his records are still available, and for those that like reading verse there is still a fair collection of his books in print.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Nick Lowe

I must say it has not been a wonderful week for me, very much a case of 24 hours a day not being enough, I don't know if you ever get that feeling? I often find myself singing little bits of songs in my head as I go about my daily chores, the last few days this honour has gone to Nick Lowe. I do of course realise that the younger ones amongst you may have no idea who he is though for lovers of pure pop from my generation he really was the Jesus of cool. Not only is the man an artist in his own right, but also a highly talented songwriter, producer of some classic albums and singles who also happened to be Johnny Cash's son in law for a period!
A little bit of history: during the early seventies Lowe was member of Brinsley Schwartz one of the leaders of the UK based pub rock movement that pre dated punk. his best known song from that period is with out a doubt 'What's So Funny 'Bout Peace Love And Understanding' that has been covered by many artists including Elvis Costello. Stiff Records was formed by Jake Riviera and Dave Robinson both of whom had been involved with pub rock bands and their first signing was none other than Nick Lowe who by 1976 was pursuing a solo career after the break up of the Brinsleys. It was Nick Lowe that provided Stiff with its first single (cat no. BUY1) 'So It Goes' / 'Heart Of The City', the single did not set the charts on fire despite being wonderful pop music, just goes to show that merit is not the only thing counts. The two songs were actually recorded as demos for a music publisher with Lowe playing all instruments except for the drums. Of particular interest, two UK music publications made the B side their single of the week! Part of the deal that he had with stiff included production duties and so he became the labels house producer during those exciting first two years. His production style, very rough, quick and natural earned him the nick name Basher. Despite this work load Nick found the time to record for himself and in 1977 he gave us the 'Bowi' EP so called as a tribute to David Bowie whose latest album had been called 'Low'. The stand out track was 'Mary Provost' (this is the song that has been lodged in my head all week). The song was notorious for it's subject matter that was taken from an LA newspaper about a fading television personality who was eaten by her dogs after having died alone in her apartment and her body not being discovered for weeks, thus the chorus "she was the winner/ that became a doggies dinner". Great song that illustrates well his admiration for the Everly Brothers.
1978 was probably the best year for Nick as a solo artist, he had jumped ship with Elvis Costello when Jake Riviera left Stiff to form Radar, this move probably gave him more free time as their were less demands on him as a producer. The fruit of this was his debut solo album 'The Jesus Of Cool' or as it was renamed in the US so as not to offend the bible belt 'Pure Pop For Now People'. Nick Lowe was backed on this album by Rockpile with whom he would later work with as a member of the band. The UK title was maybe a good eye catcher but it was the alternative title that does such a good job of describing the contents, this was the closest that he came to a collection of perfect 3 minute pop songs, his later career would follow a more country / traditional singer song writer path. This album also gave him his first taste of chart success under his own name with the reggae tinged 'I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass'. Nick is still around today and making music that gets the critics raving but unfortunately his mature song writing does not find the home that it deserves. All of today's tracks can be found on one of the many compilations dedicated to Nick.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006



A quick glance at the shorter Oxford informs us that this is a voracious South American freshwater fish, just the sort of thing you expect to find as guest star in cheaper horror films. A web search will yield buckets full of sites dedicated to fish with the very occasional mention to the band of the same name that emerged from the murky waters of UK coastal resort Brighton at the tail end of the seventies. The Town was at this time very unfashionable, these being the years b.c. (before Creation, I hasten to add the label and not the event!), indeed it's image was rather that of being a typical seaside town the type that your grandparents would probably describe as being nice, one of those wonderful English words that certain people use to describe anything and everything. Part of the fall out from punk was really that feeling that anyone could do it, and so bands really were springing up everywhere at at an incredible pace. Certain towns that had long been rock 'n' roll backwaters were starting to have a real buzz, this often led to a local structure, of an independent nature, developing, this would include cool record shops, venues and as often as not a record label. One of the wonderful thing about these labels was their tendency to put together compilation albums, these records were as often as not regionally based and were a wonderful way of, inexpensively, discovering new acts. Brighton's label was called Attrix and the undeniable highlight of the compilation were the Piranhas, a pleasingly rich listening experience. The band followed a line that would include the Kinks, Ian Dury, Madness, Blur, the Streets and Lily Allen with their undeniably Britishness and preoccupation with those more everyday subjects and obsessions. Musically speaking the band played a sax led quirky pop, at times not that far removed from early XTC, often including a strong reggae influence. They went on to release an album for Attrix before being snapped up by US indie giants Sire. Again an album was the fruit of this relationship along with a real hit single, the instrumental 'Tom Hark', that is still a favorite at football grounds. The band were not to survive long in the fashion obsessed decade of the eighties and so history has relegated them to the league of one hit wonders, when maybe they could have gone a lot further if only..........
Four songs for you to enjoy today that come from their days at Attrix. 'Tension' is maybe the song that is the most typical of new wave, musically as nervous as it's title would suggest. The band had what I always remember as being a heathy obsession with sex and other teenage hang ups that were expressed with the delicacy and wit that the subject matter demanded, 'Virginity' is an excellent example with it's chorus of "virginity it's a social decease/ virginity people laugh at me/ virginity I'm terrified that I'll be a virgin for the rest of my life" surely a song that would strike a chord with many a teenage boy! Another problem that teenagers of both sexes suffer from, is the acceptance of physical change and what their body has become this is very nicely depicted in 'I Don't Want My Body' over a lazy reggae beat. 'Coffee' despite dealing with that terribly cliched pick up line to get someone back to your place, is the most adventurous of the songs, again built over a reggae beat but being much more atmospheric with a sax break that would not be out of place with new wave mavericks the Glaxo Babies. These four songs along with sixteen others including their hit can be found on the compilation that bears their name.

Monday, December 04, 2006


Peel Sessions 32

My body, mind and ears are today celebrating 46 summers and winters of survival and so as I ease myself gently into this 47th year I think I deserve to treat myself a little and be slightly self indulgent in revisiting one of the bands that have already been featured in our on going Peel sessions rubric. Fronted by Punk/New Wave dandy, Peter Perrett, the Only Ones were a band that I fell in love with the very first time I heard them, that was of course chez Peelie. It was their debut single that had been released on their own independent Vengeance Records, 'Lovers Of Today'/'Peter And The Pets' that had grabbed my attention, thankfully this was not to be a one off as their follow up single release and first for CBS 'Another Girl, Another Planet' is really the song that song that the term cult classic was coined for. During their all too short life span and before Peter Perrett headed for the darker areas that were beckoning him and in so doing so causing the bands demise they recorded four sessions one in 1977 two in 1978 and the final one in 1980. These four sessions are considered by fans of the band to be as important as their studio albums, presenting already familiar songs in a rougher harder light with an edge making them sound more urgent than ever. The complete four sessions can be found on a double CD along with concert recordings they made for the BBC, released by Hux. Three songs up for grabs today, a song each that originally featured on one of their three official studio albums, 'The Only Ones', 'Even Serpents Shine' and 'Baby's Got A Gun', that have been nicely repackaged as a double CD by Edsel with the bonus of the hard to find debut single.

1. 'The Beast'
2. 'Even Serpents Shine'
3. 'Why Don't You Kill Yourself'

Slighty off subject if any of you are hesitating about going to see Nouvelle Vague, I would strongly advise you to do so. We were both highly impressed and passed an excellent evening in their company, the older song have been reworked to great effect for the larger band format, 'Just Can't Get Enough' springs to mind as one of the highlights of their set as does 'Human Fly' that really has to be seen and heard to be believed!

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Nouvelle Vague

First up thanks to Anonymous who pointed out that there was a problem with the Koop track, I believe this has been fixed so do feel free to download it again if the beginning pleased you. Do not hesitate to contact me if there are problems with the files and I'll see what I can do but please do not contact me concerning EZarchive files as I believe all these links are now dead.
Nouvelle Vague recently released their second album 'Bande A Part' and are sticking to the same formula of their first album which was taking post punk/ new wave classics and giving them a lounge music / bossa nova re-look. The band are currently touring and have a handful of dates left to take them to the end of the year, and tonight it's my turn to see the as they will be playing Montpellier.

* 02/12/2006 : MONTPELLIER - Rockstore
* 04/12/2006 : MADRID - Heineken (c/princesa,1)
* 05/12/2006 : BARCELONE - ESPACIO MOVISTAR (Parc del Fòrum)
* 07/12/2006 : LAUSANNE - D! Club (place centrale)
* 08/12/2006 : ZURICH - Mascotte (Theatrestrasse 10)
* 09/12/2006 : ISTANBUL - Yeni Melek Gosteri Merkezi
* 10/12/2006 : ATHENES
* 11/12/2006 : THESSALONIQUE
* 20/12/2006 : BREST - Cabaret Vauban

They last played Montpellier May, 4 2005 in the company of Fiest, unfortunately I missed that one though I do have 3 songs recorded at the gig to share with you.

1. 'Making Plans For Nigel'
2. 'Just Can't Get Enough'
3. 'Guns Of Brixton'

Friday, December 01, 2006


Made In France

In those dark days when I was living the a wonderfully wild life in sunny Montpellier, spinning records, promoting gigs, downing whatever was on the go and sleeping the bare minimum I got to promote a number of bands that were not necessarily my own personal favorites at the time, some of them as a result of their stage shows were soon promoted to another list. One of those bands was Welcome To Julian, a French indie band that had the patronage of Bernard Lenoir and les Inrockuptibles, signed to French indie label Rosebud that was to be distributed by Barclay, part of the Polygram empire, they certainly had a certain amount of marketing clout behind them by the time of their first concert for me in 1993. This was when they were touring their first real album 'Never So Close' released the same year. A listen to the album was all it needed to for you to understand that these boys were fervent followers of all that was Indie UK, paying homage to these influences was taken to it's logical conclusion and the album was recorded in London. Check out 'Is It A Crime' that makes me think of Ride and that can't be a bad thing!
Two years later the band came back in a big way. They had by now embraced a bigger sound, more American, more grunge, more roots. Almost as if to get closer to the obvious source of their inspiration this second album 'Surfing On A T Bone' was recorded in Hoboken, N.J. 'Satisfied' is a big lurching acoustic number that if the God's had been more favourable could have been a hit, 'Age, Class, And Race' is altogether a more noisy affair. The band passed by Montpellier at the end of 1995, and sadly the public were rather thin on the ground and so they missed on hell of a good gig. As all too often happens lack of interest leads to the band splitting and this is what happened to Welcome To Jullian. While listening to their last four demos, 'I Wish I Was A Stone', 'It's Too Late', 'Soul Down' and 'Leaving This Town' you can hear where their musical tastes might have taken them if only............

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