Bushfarmer

Oh look….yet another slice of excellence from Steve Cobby (this time with Rich Arthurs), hot on the heels of Captivated. This one starts off with a single guitar part and then slowly builds into long, gentle psychedelia. It sounds like sunshine bottled, dawn in an mp3 file, ten minutes of bliss, a brand new ghetto blaster, a good mood guaranteed.

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Triangle Folds

This track from James Holden, famous now for remixing Madonna, Depeche Mode and Britney, came out on a DJ Kicks compilation back in 2010 and seems to set out with the ambition of marrying dance music with German electronic cosmische music of the 70s and 80s. He not only succeeds but goes way beyond.

Gentleman Rotter

Another Andrew Weatherall radio show for NTS has appeared with the customary mixture of obscure, exotic and out there tunes. The picture above is purloined from an excellent interview in The Guardian which you can find here¬†full of laugh out loud quotes and anecdotes. The Rotters Golf Club press machine has gone into overdrive with Convenanza- there are also interviews in this month’s Q Magazine and the Wire.

 

I Bought About A Hundred Candles

Most Iggy Pop albums, even the terrible ones, have something going for them. Avenue B, released in 1999, was a departure from the rock sound he’d cracked on with in the 90s. It had short spoken word pieces, reflective songs with bongos and acoustic guitar, a song in Spanish. It’s unfairly overlooked- it sold poorly and wasn’t well received by critics or many fans. Written in the aftermath of the break-up with his long-term girlfriend it was a man looking back, reflective, ageing, doubtful, wondering if he was still attractive to women. The song Nazi Girlfriend suggested he was still having some success in that department. The title track is a lovely, jazzy little tune with Iggy actually singing, almost crooning. ‘I am gonna need a miracle’ he sings, ‘on Avenue B’.

Avenue B

Captivated

This is a new song from Steve Cobby, producer of not one but two of last year’s best albums (Everliving and Revolutions since you’re asking). Captivated is a sumptuous tune with a lovely vocal by Emma Fee. Steve has calls it bossa-tech-soul which doesn’t sound very romantic but is accurate enough. To do it justice you need to switch off from the world for four minutes thirty-six seconds and do nothing but listen.

Savage

I went to see Savages on Monday night at Manchester’s Albert Hall, a late offer of a ticket. I bought their Husbands single and the first album but hadn’t got around to the new one yet. The venue is a dream gig venue and the sound is beautifully clear- the drums are mic’d up perfectly. Clad all in black and lit in bright white Savages are sonically separated too, into hard hitting bass and ringing treble. Gemma Thompson’s guitar is viciously trebly and capable of crunching noise and sparkling picked notes. Ayse Hassan’s bass playing is superb, bouncy, aggressive and rolling. Musically it’s easy to spot the influences- Siouxsie, Joy Division, early Bunnymen, PiL- but they do it very, very well. Savages are an intense band and singer Jehnny Beth has presence. She enthuses about the crowd between songs but switches straight back into serious mode for the songs, stops Husbands part way through to check on a injury down the front, tells us one of the songs is ‘the sexy one’ and at the end walks on the front few rows hands into the crowd. No encore. The ten minute closer Fuckers is all that’s needed to send the crowd home sated. If I were a seventeen year old girl- and unless I’m very wrong about reincarnation that’s never going to happen- I’d have spent Tuesday looking for three like minded souls to start a band with.

The support act were jaw dropping. Bo Ningen are a four piece long-haired Japanese noise rock band. Their sound is incredibly tight. I can hear Black Sabbath, Sonic Youth and Can. They are tightly drilled and precise, creating a thunderous, ear splitting noise but can stop it dead in a heartbeat. Singer/bassist Taigen Kawabe plays with miniscule finger movements flanked by a pair of long-haired acid rock guitarists and a bang-on-the-beat drummer. When not singing Kawabe moves to the edge of the stage, feet spread apart, making faces at the crowd. In their final song he swings the bass behind his head and ends playing it neck first, body pointing out away towards the crowd. The guitarist on the left swings his guitar around his head by the strap while the one on the right freaks out. Drummer Monchan Monna keeps hitting the beat. I’m not sure how often I’d listen to them at home but seeing them live was a pleasure.

Dirty Stop Out

This isn’t much more than a minor footnote in Mick Jones’ back catalogue but back in 2008 he was involved in a cd released by a group called Dirty Stop Out. The threepiece were a musical outlet for Joe Corre and Luca Mainardi, Mick mainly contributing guitar. Joe Corre is best known as the owner of posh bra and knicker manufacturer Agent Provocateur and the group soundtracked one of the brand’s fashion shows. Corre is also the son of Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood so grew up in the rock ‘n’ roll rag trade. Bobby Gillespie, Chris Spedding and Dot Allison were among those also involved. Dirty Stop Out played at the Raymond Revue Bar and bashed out revved up electroclash-rockabilly, not a million miles from Sigue Sigue Sputnik’s sound, with songs like Tie Me Up, Sin City and Kinky Melody while younger women danced and removed layers of clothing. This video was made by former Mary Chainer Douglas Hart and while fairly tame probably isn’t safe for work (depending on where you work). Apache Girl was the B-side of Tie Me Up, a 7″ single and also on an album Agent Provocateur put out called, get yourself ready for this, Cuntro Classics Volume 1.