Monday, July 09, 2007


Holiday Six Pack

Yes my friends it's that time of the year again. There is a ferry waiting for me in the port of Marseille, tomorrow morning I will be on the island of Corsica. Should things go well I'll be back at the end of the month with my batteries recharged and loads of new ideas.
Until then here's six songs for you with a holiday theme, see you soon!

Big Audio Dynamite - 'Everybody Needs A Holiday'
Marine Girls - 'Holiday Song'
Refused - 'Summer Holiday vs Punk Routine'
The Kinks - 'Holiday'
The Olivia Tremor Control - 'Holiday Surprise'
The Pixies - 'Holiday Song'

Sunday, July 08, 2007


We'll Never Turn Back

I guess I'm quite lucky as I can recognise what is good in most forms of music even actually appreciating some of it. despite my personal preferences I respect much traditional music and have long been a blues fan and of it's younger brother, rhythm 'n' blues. I've had the good luck to have seen some of the leading lights of these musical forms live: BB King, Buddy Guy, Dr John but the performer that left the strongest impression was Pops Staples who I saw at a Blues Festival in the early nineties when he was touring his first solo album 'Peace To The Neighborhood' released when he was in his seventies . He had not be non productive until then, far from it, he was the mentor behind the Staple Singer, one of the bands that were the foundation of Stax Records, if you don't know their take on the bands 'The Weight' where they made the song their own and to my mind recorded the definitive version, well stop what you're doing and go and buy it right now! The Staples singers as the name suggests were part of that long American tradition of family members singing together: The Carter Family, The Osmonds, The Partridge Family, The Jackson Five, Pops provided the musical backing for his four daughters. As is often the case there is one of the bunch that is just that little bit stronger and goes on to forge a respectable solo career, in the case of the Staple Singers this was to be Mavis. She has recently released her 9th solo album on as many different labels 'We'll Never Turn Back', this latest outing has seen the light of day on one of the coolest labels I Know of, Anti. Anti are the philanthropic side of US punk/skate label Epitaph whose rooster includes such delights as Tricky, Bettye Lavette, Michael Franti and Tom Waits. The album sees Mavis backed by one of the few guitarists capable of replacing her father Ry Cooder and one of America's greatest living drummers/percussionists Jim Keltenr. The results are more than satisfactory as Mavis goes back to her gospel roots and delivers 12 songs of strife and struggle that sadly seem as relevant today as they did back in the 20's or 30's, her gritty soul divas voice more than does justice to these songs and the sentiments that they convey. Not a duff song amongst the 12 tracks my current favorites are the funky sounding '99 And A Half' and the stomping 'This Little Light Of Mine'. An album that goes along way in proving that the devil does not have all the beat tunes!

Saturday, July 07, 2007


These New Puritans

A name that is enough to strike fear in these troubled times of religious extremism be it in the form of Christianity, Judaism or Islam, the name may one day have that effect of fear as these boys will be seriously bothering the pop charts in years to come if their is any justice. They are a four piece from Southend a town that today is little more than a satellite of the sprawling monster we call London. When I was a boy Southend was the seaside resort preferred by east enders, I still have fond memories of day trips there with my parents and grandparents, days that would inevitably end up with a fish and chip supper in a pub beer garden before returning home. This beer and chips attitude was prevalent in the music the town unloaded onto the world in the 70's as this was almost pub rock central often referred to as the Canvey Island Delta with bands such as Dr Feelgood, Eddie And The Hot Rods, Mickey Jupp, Lew Lewis and The Kursal Flyers. But all of that is history and I am more than pleased to see that town has made it's way into the 21st century in musical terms at least with this four piece. These New Puritans were completely unknown to me before I was contacted by their label Angular Recording Corporation who are based in south east London and sound like a good spirited bunch, who in much the same way as Factory Records before them, play artfully with image and traditional ideas, for example they have given catalog numbers to various map references! Amongst the artists that they have worked with are The Long Blondes and the Kaxons both of which have had singles released on the label, 'Separated By Motorways (Sexamatronic mix)' by the Long Blondes is up for free download. These New Puritans would appear to be one of the bands that they are developing along with the Fucks (?), our heroes are currently in the studios recording their debut album scheduled for a year end release.
At the beginning of the year the band were approached by the Dior fashion house with the idea that the band provide the music for their forthcoming men's fashion show. The band up until then had never composed a song longer than four minutes long, the result of this commission was 'Navigate Navigate' that provided the soundtrack for the full 16 minute shown. Written and recorded in just over a week the 12 minute version released as a 12"single and digital download from Rough Trade does not disappoint. The song is built on a solid marching beat, not that stupid a thing when you consider it was composed for top models to strut their stiff to, that is not a 1000 miles away from 'Sunday Bloody Sunday'. It is a nervous twitchy masterpiece that does not fail to keep your attention despite it's 12 minutes, a solid beat, abrasive treble heavy scratchy guitars and a solid pop hook that many a lesser band would kill for. If you want reference points, they have got me thinking of early Talking Heads and Edinburgh's post punk heroes Fire Engines and Franz Ferdinand despite this retro feel they manage to retain a modern edge. I for one am looking forward to their album hitting the stores. I have uploaded 'Navigate Navigate' as a 3 minute edit to give you an idea, to experience the full strength version you'll just have to dig into your pockets, that I'd say is normal. Now where are my jellied eels?

Thursday, July 05, 2007


Sista India / Wrath Of The Blackman

Not got a great deal to say today. After Mondays post I got round to digging out an old Fun Da Mental 12", and my memory did not disappoint me another great culture bending mix with good sentiments thrown in for good measure. I really find it hard to believe that this band have not made it gig time yet, maybe they've rattled too many cages.

1. 'Sista India (Education Mix)'
2. 'Wrath Of The Black Man (Oppressor Mix)'

With regards to the Monkeys song on the Shamen's 'In Gorbachev We Trust', it is 'Sweet Young Thing' that clocked in at under two minutes on their self titled debut album from 1966.

Monday, July 02, 2007


Peel Sessions 60

If I'm to be honest I'm not the worlds greatest fan of electronic dance music, let's just say techno and rave has left be more or less cold. Having said that there are certain things that I do like I'm a big sucker for full throated house divas another is the way electronic music has proved to be crossroads for the meeting of western and eastern music and has, to my ears, largely succeeded something that cannot be said for guitar driven rock. A good example of this is Transglobal Underground, a collective that works together on an on-off basis, giving it's members the time to pursue other interests. Their manifesto is to use their love of dance music, avant garde, Arabic and world music to come up with their own highly listenable and danceable groove. The bands core is made up of Natasha Atlas, Alex Kasiek, Man Tu and Count Dubulah. The band recorded two Peel Sessions today's songs are taken from the first that dates from February 1983.
1. 'This Is The Army Of Forgotten Souls'
2. 'Yalla Chant'
3. 'Shimmer'

Sunday, July 01, 2007



So has it really been 30 years since Bob Marley & The Wailers delivered 'Exodus', many people are saying it was his best album, I'm not too sure about that, it was though the album that took him over the threshold to international stardom. The late 70's were the hey day for reggae with Jamaican import being easily available in the UK and two majors heavily featuring the style, Island and Virgin with their Front Line sub label. It was also the era of the 12" single, a format that was not well suited to punk with it's short sharp shock songs though was made to measure for reggae and the the market was flooded with reggae 12", obviously not all of them were good. My personal collection include many expensive imports and importantly many UK releases from the blossoming UK reggae independent Greensleeves that had the good sense to licence many Jamaican releases. Such was the case with Michael Prophets 'Gunman' presented here in it's full almost 7 minutes. A topical song at the time relating the problems of the troubled times on the Caribbean island and a great song to boot.
Yesterday's Shamen post has proved to be rather popular and as such has used up almost all of my band width with File Den, if you get a message regarding lack of band width don't worry on Thursday 5 July my counter will be back to zero and the songs will be downloadable again. Someone has posed the question about the Monkey's song, if anyone knows the answer feel free to leave a comment, nothing to win just the glory of it, if no one comes forward I will reveal the song Thursday. On the subject of file hosting services, I recently received a message that the Head Of David links were not working, sorry but I tried them myself and there was no problem, if you are having problems try changing your browser, it is always a good idea to have two on your PC as for unknown reasons sometimes they bug, personally I use FireFox and Internet Explorer. Another point I believe the file hosting services that I use do not support download managers and so maybe your download manager should not be on default position? Last point before I run off to the kitchen to cook Sunday dinner, MyDataBus has recently changed a little and to be honest I not too sure that it's for the best so if any of you are having problems with files that are hosted there do let me know I can always find another service, any suggestions?

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