Electric Avenue


Regular reader and comment leaver Artog pointed out a while ago that the Electric Avenue ex-Equal Eddy Grant sang about back in 1982 was a real road. He spotted it from the top deck of the 159 bus. It’s in Brixton, SW9. Those postcodes always seem important to Londoners. In the 1880s it was the first market street to be lit by, yes, electricity and it’s beautiful Victorian shop front canopies survived until the 1980s, when some philistine pulled them down. Thatcher probably.

Keeping It Peel Slight Return


A second Peel Session song. It’s half term and I’ve got the time. Early 80s left wing skinheads The Redskins, with Young And Proud from a 1982 session. Get your red docs on and bounce.

Keeping It Peel Day Slight Return


A second Peel Session song. It’s half term and I’ve got the time. Early 80s left wing skinheads The Redskins, with Young And Proud from a 1982 session. Get your red docs on and bounce.

Happy 40th Mrs Swiss


Today Mrs Swiss turns 40. The musical aspects of this post might be better off here. She was into them from the start. In fact the first time she took me back to her rented house she had a Mark Owen poster on her bedroom wall. And this song is at least bearable.

Happy Birthday Mrs Swiss.

Keeping It Peel Day


Keeping It Peel Day is organised across the web by Webbie, who you can find here explaining what it’s all about. I joined in last year posting a track from Sabres Of Paradise’s sole Peel Session. First up today is a Half Man Half Biscuit song, recorded for a Peel Session (in I think 2004) before it was available anywhere else, rapidly becoming an audience favourite. Paintball’s Coming Home attacks those people, those couples, you know the ones- they’ve got a new conservatory, they got married on a Caribbean beach, they’ve got a German Shepherd dog called Prince, they know where things are in B & Q, they made friends with people on Henman Hill, they buy soup in cartons not in tins, they hire stretch limousines, they’ve got a website for their cat, they keep a torch in the back of the car. Most damningly of all they’ve got nothing but total respect for Annie Lennox/the Mercury Music Prize (depending on which version you’re listening to). I once played this to a chap who took it as a personal attack on himself. And maybe he was right.

Here’s to John Peel and his memory. And this fairly bizarre photo.

AMCA CPI AW DRM


The list of letters stands for A Man Called Adam’s Chronic Psionic Interface Andrew Weatherall Dodivor Remix, which is a pretty unromantic way of letting you listen to this piece of bleepy, blissed out balearica from 1991, a bit of a golden year for this kind of thing. Spaced out. And a break from all these roads and streets. Affects nasal whine ‘How many roads must a man blog about, before he zzzzzzzz……..’

AMCA CPI AW DRM


The list of letters stands for A Man Called Adam’s Chronic Psionic Interface Andrew Weatherall Dodivor Remix, which is a pretty unromantic way of letting you listen to this piece of bleepy, blissed out balearica from 1991, a bit of a golden year for this kind of thing. Spaced out. And a break from all these roads and streets. Affects nasal whine ‘How many roads must a man blog about, before he zzzzzzzz……..’

Whittier Boulevard


With a name like Thee Midnighters (or Thee Midniters) you just know that this is going to be hopped up mid-60s garage rock. And it is, but also hopped up mid-60s Chicano garage rock. A tribute to East Los Angeles Whittier Blouevard. We don’t have many boulevards round here.

The Sixties



I was reading what Drew wrote here about the late 80s, about how in ’88 people were into the new dance music or the newish indie dance (or indie shuffle) and how there was some crossover between the two. After getting in from a colleague’s gothic wedding reception last night I slumped in front of a Neil Young documentary. The combination of the two (Drew’s post and Neil Young, not the goth wedding) got me thinking- around ’88 everyone (well maybe not everyone, but y’know..) who was into music was into 60s bands. Not the really obscure, Nuggets garage bands but the then cult bands who’ve since become the 50 quid man mainstream- Buffalo Springfield, The Doors, the Velvet Underground, Love, The Byrds, Jefferson Airplane, Bob Dylan et al. All American now I look at the list. I suppose British bands were there as well- The Stones, The Kinks, The Small Faces. At the time the 60s seemed so long ago. 1968 was twenty years before and we weren’t even twenty yet. In ’87 there was a rash of interest in it being twenty years since Sgt Pepper and in ’88 some media interest in it being twenty years since the events of May 1968. No-one I knew bought cds except one lad who wanted to be the sort of person who bought cds, a yuppie wannabe. The cd reissues of back catalogues hadn’t begun. Funnily, it almost seemed further ago then than it does now, now we’re completely saturated in 60s (and 70s, and 80s…) culture. In ’88 we devoured anything we could find- records obviously (not always easy to get, scouring second hand shops and bargain bins. It took me until about 1995 to find a copy of Neil Young’s On The Beach. Now I’d just download it), but also books, odd magazine references, very occasional clips on TV late at night, two fingers poised over the Play and Record buttons on the video. Without Youtube, feature length documentaries, books and autobiographies, box sets, reissued cds and magazines like Mojo there was so little information, so few pictures, so little source information. What we had was poured over. I knew next to nothing about Neil Young. On chance I bought Harvest on cassette for £4.49 (with that Price Cuts! sticker. Early entry level retro culture) but had no real context to put it in, other than as part of the rest of the stuff I listened to. This sub-cult 60s influenced both parts of what Drew described- the indie shufflers and the dance scene (maybe not as obviously and many of the key players wouldn’t acknowledge it for fear of contaminating the newness, and let’s not forget dance culture led some misguided souls to suggest that ‘the 90s will be the 60s upside down’). I suppose the twenty year rule also explains the current and recent vogue for 80s sounds in pop music. Our youth becomes period drama, as the 60s generation’s youth was for us. The 60s bands had a bad 80s with some terrible records, still recovering from the kicking punk gave them a decade earlier. Since the megatours started most of these bands have played an arena somewhere near you, something pretty unthinkable in 1988, apart from the then 40 something Rolling Stones. The 60s also seems to have become less defined, part of a musical cultural mush that lasts all the way up to punk (and all the punk artists grew up listening to… those 60s bands). I watched the Neil Young documentary last night and there was a clip of Buffalo Springfield playing Mr Soul on US TV. Electrifying. I would’ve killed to have had instant access to this in 1988. I suppose the technology is a good thing, but part of the thrill in the late 80s was the chase, the constant looking for stuff, seeking it out and hunting it down, and the heartstopping moment when you found an lp you’d previously only heard about. This is Neil Young doing Mr. Soul live, acoustically, sometime in the early 1970s.

Two pictures, I don’t know why. It won’t let me remove one.

Jacob Street


From the imaginary novel that forms the sleeve notes to Sabres Of Paradise 1994 album Haunted Dancehall-

”Jacob Street 7am. Stumbling from the Charing Cross Road drinker, two hours kip and off to work. Dawn over Rotherhithe…could be worse”.
Sublime.