Hey Fellas Have You Heard The News?

Some thumping mod action from 1965 for the last day of July. The Birds, from West London, didn’t release much in their time (four singles) but this footstomper still rings loud and true. Handy message to the chaps as well- treat the women well or they’ll leave town.

Leaving Here

Dig It

I just found this by Bagging Area’s guitar hero and haircut guru Johnny Marr- an instrumental from an Antonio Banderas film that went straight to video last year. This is both epic and trippy. You’ll like it. Johnny is back in the studio recording either a solo album or a new Healers album. There’s loads of Johnny stuff here.

The Big Bang Dig

Meanwhile I’m off to a pub quiz where we’ll be hoping for a medal position. Apologies for breaking the run of pictures of vintage sports. Resumes tomorrow.

Yo La Remix

I found this recently and was going to wait for autumn but frankly that involves planning- Yo la Tengo put out a career spanning double disc about a decade ago. Limited quantities came with a third disc, the main highlight of which was this- Autumn Sweater remixed by MBV’s Kevin Shields. Autumn Sweater is a beautiful, slow burning song of lost love, shyness, leaves turning brown and the need for an extra layer of clothing. Kevin Shields sidesteps that for a drum loop, a repeated organ part, an isolated and distorted vocal, an overloaded bass riff. Then he begins to add some other loops, all running on and on for just shy of nine minutes. Stunning.

Autumn Sweater (Kevin Shields Remix)


That women’s road race was exciting was exciting wasn’t it?

After Friday night’s show I can’t get this out of my head, that main squiggly riff circling round my mind.

No Time To Play

During the summer of 1993 (which was *shakes head* nineteen years ago) one of the most played records in my room was Guru’s Jazzmatazz. The Jazzmatazz album was a different beast from Gang Starr (who I also loved) replacing two turntables and a microphone with live instruments, loads of guests, loved up vibe. This song is the sound of summer, perfect now that summer has finally arrived in north-west England (or it did, last couple of days have eased off a bit on the sunshine and heat), spot on for a Sunday morning too. Dusty drumbeat, vinyl crackle, Ronny Jordan’s sprightly guitar, Guru’s laid back rhyme and DC Lee exhorting us to not waste any time, do it now, get out there, seize the day ‘cos life is short y’know, all that kind of stuff. Never no time to play.

I loved Jazzmatazz Volume 1. I bought Volume 2 and played it maybe once. Until I googled it just now I’m not sure I even knew there were a Volume 3 and a Volume 4. Guru died last April.

No Time To Play

I Heard Wonders

I can’t decide what was most impressive and jawdropping about last night’s opening ceremony- the wit, scale and verve of the historical section, including dancing Victorian industrialists, marching Suffragists, a pause for the First World War and the destruction of the English countryside by the erection of some giant chimneys.

The whistle stop tour through British music, including some of the actual good bits, played out through text messages between a boy, a girl and a lost mobile phone.

The tribute to the National Health Service (no political points being made there then) with hundreds of dancing doctors and nurses and patients in hospital beds.

Or the sudden and totally unexpected appearance of Arctic Monkeys playing I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor, then covering Come Together as giant cycling doves flew from the ground beneath them.

Or the sound of Underworld’s tripped out acid house belter Rez blasting round the stadium as the teams of athletes began their entrance. I mean, Rez!

Or for that matter, the honour guard for the flame by the people who built the stadium, Danny Boyle pointing out that this should be, maybe, the peoples’ Olympics. Followed by the six kids who took the flame for the last part of the journey. Not Becks, six unknown kids. Well done Danny Boyle- hats off to you sir. 

I Heard Wonders

Treasure Hunting

Those of you that come here for the dirty, dancier, electronic stuff will want to get a copy of this. Treasure Hunting, a compilation of three years of goodies from French label Astrolab, came out digitally last week with the cd to follow next week and a vinyl version in September. It’s a beauty with not a bad track on it, making a good companion piece to Andrew Weatherall’s Masterpiece compilation for Ministry of Sound. As well as Weatherall’s remix of Timothy J Fairplay there’s Justin Robertson’s Deadstock 33s, Daniel Avery, Scott Fraser (soon to be the number 2 release on Weatherall’s very limited Bird Scarer label), Mugwump, Hardway Bros, Marc Pinol,  Ana Helder and others. This is the album opener from Toby Tobias. Caution; could cause dancing.

Sauna Fauna

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 69

The return of The Cramps to Friday evening. I’ve been playing a compilation of their early stuff, File Under Sacred Music 1978-81, a lot this week – the cd version not the box set of 7″ singles, which costs an eye watering £70- and there really is nothing like early Cramps. Rockabilly mating with punk. Love it all (although this song isn’t actually on File Under Sacred Music).

Tear It Up

The picture is from a series of photographs taken by a young Ken Russell of Teddy boys and girls in bomb sites in London in the 1950s. Stunning set of pictures. Which leads me onto… London 2012.

In a volte face that’s quite surprised me, after months of detached cynicism, I’m looking forward to the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics tonight. The year-long build up has bugged me, the corporateness is revolting (people being warned not to wear branded clothing that will clash with official sponsors), the torch relay (showing the best inspirational people we have to offer; Jedward and Will.I.Am) but over the last few days I’ve begun to look forward to it. Just hope Danny Boyle’s remembered to include a pound shop, an out of town retail park and a tanning salon in this evening’s show.

It’s Friday…Let’s Pogo!

Brother John Robb and Goldblade make old school punk rock- breakneck guitars, pounding drums, shouty choruses, flashy punk/rockabilly threads, great for jumping up and down to. If you’ve not seen them live you should give them a go next time they play in your town. John Robb has opinions to go with the quiff and biceps (his Louder Than War blog is in the links down below), is a Manchester face and all round good guy. Unfortunately I have slurred my own opinions at him once or twice when slightly the worse for wear in some of Manchester’s nightspots. He takes it all with good grace.


Me And The Chief Got Slowly Stoned

I recently re-found the copy of Happy Mondays Pills ‘N’ Thrills And Bellyaches that came free with The Guardian a few weeks ago. Looking down the tracklist of an album I probably haven’t played in full for at least fifteen years some of these are very well known to me (Kinky Afro, Step On, Loose Fit, Bob’s Yer Uncle) and some I could barely remember, especially this one and Donovan. As soon as it started to play I recalled all of it. God’s Cop was about former Chief Constable of Greater Manchester James Anderton, a right wing nutter, about whom there were scores of unbelievable/totally believable stories. Shaun’s lyrics here are great, drawled over a lolloping groove- ‘me and the chief got Soul To Soul, me and the chief got slowly stoned’.

God’s Cop