Warrington Parr Hall

I got in from work yesterday and opened my emails. One read- ‘The Stone Roses are playing a free concert tonight at Warrington Parr Hall (capacity 760). Wristbands for the concert are available from the box office from 4.00pm to people bringing a record sleeve, cd inlay or band T-shirt.’

Nayayers should suspend their cynicism or stop reading at this point.

At 8.40pm I was standing in the rapidly filling Parr Hall, an old concert venue with a high stage and a seated balcony round three sides. I have never been to a gig where there was such an air of unexpected excitement. The presence of Cressa and John Robb and various other faces, and crew with Roses wristbands, making it clear this was actually going to happen. The bass speaker stacks were topped off with a collection of Toby jugs. At 9.30 four Stone Roses took the stage, Reni included (despite recent internet rumours). I Wanna Be Adored, Mersey Paradise, Sally Cinnamon, Made Of Stone, Sugar Spun Sister, Where Angels Play, Shoot You Down, Tightrope, Waterfall, She Bangs The Drums, Love Spreads (with a slightly ill advised Ian Brown rap at the end, Paid In Full). Mani grinning throughout, Ian Brown bouncing round the stage, Squire playing those guitar lines, the crowd drowning out the band at times. The love and energy from the crowd was stunning; the only non-smiley note all night was Liam Gallagher’s arrival on the balcony to boos and jeers. All those late 80s truisms about positivity, and the band and the crowd are the same, and we’re all on the same side, flooding back briefly. It’s still The Roses- if you want pitch perfect recreations of songs, go and watch Adele. But it’s beautiful from where I was standing. I’m still not entirely convinced it actually happened, despite my croaky voice and sweaty wristband.

At 10.25 they finished, hugging each other stage front, standing hand-in-hand and arms in the air, taking a bow and then off (‘We’ll be back’ Ian said, though not tonight), and after a few minutes of milling around before we were sure there wasn’t an encore, we were spewed into Warrington’s now chilly streets, middle aged men and women who’d just seen something they could only remember and dream about, teenagers who’ve just seen something they could only previously read about.

You’ll have to forgive the fanboy enthusiasm folks- my 21st century world weariness may return tomorrow, but right now I can say ‘Warrington Parr Hall- I was there’.  

Can I Draw Your Picture?

This appeared on Soundcloud about a month ago, a superb and unreleased Weatherall dub mix of Lark’s Can I Colour In Your Hair? from 2009. I think it first showed up at Double Gone Radio but it’s never had a physical release which is a shame because this clanging, speaker-rattling remix would sound ace on vinyl. It’s a bit of a forerunner of his two dubs of Steve Mason’s Boys Outside (another peak period Weatherall remix never physically released to the best of my knowledge).

And that’s Man Ray’s portrait of Le Corbusier by the way.

Boss Hog

Recent postee Jon Spencer has had a variety of projects outside his Blues Explosion, the most commercial being  Boss Hog, a band formed with his wife Cristina Martinez. They still play the punk blues, it’s just got some of the rough edges smoothed out. Jon and Cristina met at a Jesus And Mary Chain gig.


Man Ray’s Beach House

This is a beauty, Bloom, the fourth album from Beach House. It’s no different from the previous three, just better. Woozy organ, distorted guitar, melifluous vocals about nothing/everything, lazy and languid and a bit out there.


In the frame is Balthus, looking the essence of 1930s male chic. Incredibly, for someone photographed as an adult so long ago he didn’t die until 2001. Balthus refused any kind of biographical reading of his paintings. His paintings were to be seen and not read about. Reckon he may have had a beach house though.

That’s It Ladies And Gentlemen, Blues Explosion!

So says Jon Spencer. It turns out, following finding this recently and then going digging, that I have three Jon Spencer Blues Explosion albums, which came as a bit of a surprise to me. If someone asked me what bands I liked we’d be talking for some time before I mentioned them. When they’re good though, they’re very, very good. And I haven’t got the album I’ve always thought I had (Now I Got Worry)- or if I did ever have it, I haven’t got it now. This song, 2 Kindsa Love, is off Now I Got Worry. This live performance from Australian TV is phenomenal for several reasons.
1. The riff.
2. Jon Spencer’s performance, which removes the fourth wall. And the backdrop while he’s at it.
3. It was recorded in the morning.
4. Extended use of the theremin.
5. The band are bang on the beat.
6. As a look black shirt, black trousers and white shoes works.

HSD- I think you’ll like this.


I’m 42 today. Happy birthday to me. I was 39 when I started this blog, so if nothing else it’s enabling me to track my journey into middle age.


A song from the Jesus And Mary Chain’s swansong, Munki (from 1998); snarling and self-loathing with overloaded guttersnipe guitars.

As part of my non-stop, debauched rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle I am spending the morning of my 42nd birthday manning the bookstall (a table under a gazebo) at Park Road Nursery’s Summer Fair. Pop by. I’m sure we’ll have something you’ll like. Last year I managed to sell a copy of ‘You And Your Pond; A Guide To Complete Pond Care’.

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 59

Rockabilly post 100. Woo.
To celebrate this momentous occasion Sid King and The Five Strings will regale us with Purr, Kitty, Purr, rockabilly from way back in 1957. With added cat noises.

Purr, Kitty Purr

Where You Gonna Go Man?

One of Bagging Area’s favourite albums of last year came from The People’s Temple, who produced a very good 2011 version of 60s acid/psyche rock. On this song they perfect their Stonesisms. Electrictrified sneering.

Where You Gonna Go?

The photo is of Denise Tual, theatre and film producer, editor and director. At least I think so- the website was in French and I decided against clicking the translate button.

Donna Summer RIP

Surely one of the greatest records ever made.

Gold Light Of Man Ray

I remembered this band the other day, who very handily tie into the recent Man Ray theme. The Rayographs, three young ladies from London, who play slinky, ever-so-slightly menacing blues and named themselves after the Man himself and his photography.

Gold Light

Picture- Helen Tamiris, American dancer and choreographer.