Winter Hill

Winter Hill sits north of Manchester on Rivington Moor, near Chorley and Bolton with Blackburn and Darwen further north. On top of it is an enormousTV mast which can be seen for miles around. I pass it on the way to work. Next Saturday a few of us are going to Blackburn to see A Certain Ratio play at St George’s Hall. Given its part in the story of the north west’s musical history- Blackburn’s warehouse parties in the late 80s, the Sett End in Shadsworth etc- you’d imagine that ACR might pull a decent sized crowd. When we got our tickets a few days ago they came in the post number 47, 48. 49 and 50. At least we should be able to get a good view and place down at the front.

In 1981 ACR released Winter Hill on their To Each… album. Produced by Martin Hannett, Winter Hill is a twelve minute long journey in sound, with some urgent drumming and whistles and an alternating two note drone. Stick with it as the tension builds and then fades away.


Here is some wonderfully relaxed ambience from Steve Cobby, digital balm for the ears and the mood receptors (I was going to say soul but I’m not sure we’re dealing with Judeo-Christian concepts such as the soul). A clicking and whirring rhythm track. Washes of sound. The pop of a drum. A voice comes in and then there’s a change of pace. All three Cobby and Porky e.p.s are set to be released as a mini-album in December, titled Cities Below Future Seas.

I don’t know if Steve is finding it difficult to sleep at the moment or something, but the amount of music he’s putting out is almost superhuman. If you want something gritty, northern and real have a look at the spoken word project he’s been doing with Russ Litten.

You can buy Porkbag from Bandcamp, three tracks from Hull for only £2. Get it here. Keep him happy and in business.

<p><a href=”″>Cobby &amp; Porky – Porkbag</a> from <a href=”″>Steve Cobby</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>


I Just Want To Sit Here And Watch You Undress

PJ Harvey turned up at The Vinyl Villain yesterday and I’d been meaning to post this since before my computer went down. I haven’t got anything like all of Polly’s albums but I’m content to drop in and out and recently played her 2000 album Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea, an album inspired by New York that famously won the always slightly pointless Mercury Prize. This Is Love is my favourite song off it, direct, upfront and confident from the off with a driving Stooges, Heartbreakers guitar riff and that attention grabbing opening couplet. There isn’t any doubt evident here, Polly knows exactly what she’s feeling and exactly what she wants.


Another post cobbled together under difficult technological circumstances (a new definition of blogging modernism after Kit Lambert’s description of mod as clean living under difficult circumstances for you there). This is Mike D, Beastie Boy, remixing Warpaint. The new Warpaint album is pretty good but I don’t feel like it’s got under my skin yet in the way the previous ones did. For his remix Mike D slows it right down, strips away the instruments, lets the vocals carry the melody and adds a Kangol hatful of 80s hip hop influences. Whatchuwaitinfor? Ch-ch-ch-ch-check it out.


You’ll have noticed that nothings happened here for the last seven days. The computer developed a fault. I took it to be repaired. They phoned today to tell me that the computer is exactly where I left it with them because the van that comes to pick up faulty goods to take them for repair has had the ‘wrong size containers’. This caused me to feel quite angry. They say it will be up to another week before I get it back. This caused me further feelings of anger and annoyance.

I’m typing this on my daughter’s laptop which contains exactly no music to post so I’m going to Youtube and giving you this as a stopgap. Andrew Weatherall has done two remixes of The Liminanas single Garden Of Love (the one with Hooky on bass and backing vox). This version takes the drums off and takes it almost into Smokebelch Beatless Mix territory.


The new Pixies album Head Carrier doesn’t do too much for me, it’s alright but that’s about it. Plus, Pixies without Kim Deal is a bit of a deal breaker for me. Mind you I wasn’t too fussed about the new album they put out in 1990. After the brain melting shock of Surfer Rosa and Doolittle, Bossanova seemed a little humdrum, a bit ordinary. In the years since I’ve learned to love some of the songs off it, Velouria and Digging For Fire and some others, but nothing meets the standards they set in 1988 and 1989. And while some bands have persuaded me to keep buying their records I’ve never felt the same urge with Pixies. The compiled Peel Sessions and B-sides albums are well worth your time and money as companions to those two late 80s masterpieces..

Velouria (Peel Session)

Sally Space

This song was left off St Etienne’s debut Foxbase Alpha and is one of the bonus tracks on an upcoming twenty five year anniversary edition (triple vinyl, double cd, booklet, cigarette cards etc). It’s a wonder it didn’t make the cut first time around with its lazy house drums, reverb and echo, and Sarah’s sunny day vox.

All That Matters

This is a lovely way to start a Sunday, a blissful, luscious new remix of Hannah Peel by Richard Norris (Hannah sings on the Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve album so this a favour returned). All the requisite elements present and correct- a chunky drumbeat, piano, wobbly bass, sweeping strings and a swoonsome vocal. Richard has located the sweet spot, that point just before ecstasy tips into melancholy.


I know I post an awful lot of Andrew Weatherall related material here but I think it’s worth it. On a trip to the USA he popped in to do a mix for Tim Sweeney’s Beats In Space radio show and it’s a bit special. If you go here there’s a download button. Weatherall did a show for BIS previously in 2009, one that got played a lot in the Bagging Area bunker.


Barry Woolnaugh – Great Spirit Father In The Sky – Moine Dubh
John Grant – Disappointing (Richard Sen Remix)
Craig Bratley – Play The Game (Andrew Weatherall Remix) – Magic Feet
Alan Rankine – Can You Believe Everything I See – Les Disques Du Crépuscule
The Blow Monkeys – Save Me (Unreleased Dub)
Jagwar Ma – Give Me A Reason (Andrew Weatherall Remix)
Mario Viera – Cosmic Matter – Santa Esperanza Records
Herb Alpert – Rise (Tuff City Kids Remix)
Visti & Meyland – Tabah (DJ Disse Remix)
The Antirealists – Absence (Q-Burns Abstract Message Remix)
Headman – Dechainee
Capablanca & T.Keeler – Trepanado

Another Dawn Appears

It’s Friday, so as Drew puts it, let’s dance! One of the fine blog in my list to the right is Madchester Rave On, a cornucopia of 1988-1992 delights. Last week this song was posted…

Saturday’s Angels

A 1990 release from If? that is a joy from start to finish, the sort of record that sent clubs into a frenzy, especially those clubs in the faraway towns- Warrington, Blackburn, Burnley- those kinds of places which had rabid club scenes with loyal punters. In fact there are many out on the net who will testify that it was Legends nightclub in Warrington that made this tune. Saturday’s Angels was very nearly a proper hit too after the group appeared on The Word but they missed out. If? included Sean McClusky (ex of Subway Sect and JoBoxers) and were faces on the London club scene of the late 80s and early 90s. Here’s The Word performance in shaky VHS upload format from the Youtube account of the man himself, Terry Christian…

It demands to be followed by this from Paradiso, also from 1990, released on Boys Own…

Here We Go Again (Stairway To Heaven Mix)