Sail To Me

The This Mortal Coil cover version I posted on Tuesday, a genuine 80s indie classic from Ivo Watts-Russell, Liz Fraser and Robin Guthrie, has been re-edited by In The Valley. You might think that the TMC original is so peerless that it should never be tinkered with. In fact, In The Valley says on his/her/their Soundcloud page ‘They told me not to touch the classics, but I did’. And it is worth it, taking the spectral qualities of the Guthrie and Fraser song and marrying it to a Balearic reggae feel. You’ll be playing this several times this morning alone (and there’s a download button too).

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A Haze And A Glory

Andrew Weatherall’s new solo album is out today. After years of not releasing anything under his own name, self titled Weatherall releases are now like buses, turning up en masse, one after the other. Hot on the heels of the Kiyadub 12″ (and the self titled album from last year) comes Qualia, an eight track album on Hoga Nord. Last week this one was put online to whet our appetites, the melodic passage coming over a bit unexpected after the beat heavy opening and the funky guitar riff. There’s plenty going on here. More please.

The melodic passage comes over a bit unexpected after the beat heavy opening and the funky guitar riff.

Down The Docks The Talking Turned…

…’As some are striving to survive, the others thrive’

I posted this song last year and once before that as well but sitting watching one of the Top Of The Pops reruns last week I was struck  (again) by the brilliance and magic, the faith and devotion of Pete Wylie’s Mighty Wah! in the mid 80s. Come Back sounds like a love song but the verses read as a clarion call, a stand against Thatcher and forces of greed, a call for community and to stand together, a shout to those forced out by economic forces beyond their control to return to the city and to their roots. That reads as much for 2017 as it did for 1984. Pete said on Twitter recently that he wrote and played every instrument of Come Back except for the backing vocal by partner Josie Jones. In the TOTP clip Josie looks amazing, hands on hips, alongside Pete in his leather trousers and blow dried hairdo.

Sadly Josie, a big figure on the Liverpool art and music scene, died in 2015. She had also been the voice of Big hard Excellent Fish’s Imperfect List, which I’ve also posted before here and in its updated form here.

Come Back (The Return Of The Randy Scouse Git)

How good is that? How could you ever get tired of hearing that? ‘It’s all up to you, yes it’s all up to you!’

Something To Remember Me By

Back in 2009 something most unexpected happened. I remember the moment I read something like ‘you won’t believe this’, clicked play and the opening seconds of Sea Within A Sea came out of the speakers- a throbbing bassline , motorik drumming and some phased guitar sounds. Farris’s vocal covered in echo. The second half of the song with the synth arpeggio part lifting it and then the building keyboard part. Eight minutes of glorious surprise.

Sea Within A Sea

The album that followed, Primary Colours, had other peaks too (Who Can Say is one the last decade’s best guitar songs). After that I bought the third album, Skying, which hasn’t stuck in the memory and didn’t get the following one. The new album, V, is out now and the video for the closing song Something To Remember Me By went online yesterday. The song is synth-led, a black clad leather version of Moroder’s pulsing sound topped with Badwan’s confident indie/goth vocal. This is pop music, left of centre but direct pop music nonetheless. I like it.

The video has the band signing up with a company to have their bodily fluids extracted and turned into artefacts to be sold via the internet, including a green dildo. Which is nice.

Theatre De La Mer

After a few years of holding the annual Convenanza festival inside the castle at Carcasonne this year’s Convenanza moved to the coast and and the port town of Sete. Convenanza is a three day festival organised by Bernie Fabre with a line up of artists chosen by Andrew Weatherall and Bernie- this year’s festival at Sete took place in the outdoor theatre shown above, the Theatre de la Mer where the backdrop is the Mediterranean Sea. I can’t get to the south of France for a weekend during term time but I have online sources who were there and provided a running commentary of pictures, clips, tunes and reports over the weekend. The line up for this year looked like this…
As the weekend wound down one of my social media friends was raving about the impact this song had when played in the theatre outdoors after dark. It’s a lovely Balearic chugger from 2012 by Coyote with a vocal by Gavin Gordon, the sort of song that takes you up and brings you down…
There’s a very good acid tinged remix by Sean Johnston , the half of A Love From Outer Space that isn’t Mr Weatherall. The same roving reporter on the dockside also pointed us towards this one by Norway’s Laars, a mid-paced dj set track that goes a bit loopy in the middle and seems to have set hairs on the back of the neck on end and arms in the air…
The ALFOS dj set, Weatherall and Johnston back to back, on Friday night closed with This Mortal Coil’s spine-tingling cover of Song To The Siren, Liz Fraser’s voice drifting out from the theatre to the sea, ‘Long afloat on shipless oceans, I did all my best to smile’…

Everything You Do Today, Tomorrow Is Obsolete

Nick Cave turned 60 on Friday. I don’t know how the dark lord of gothic rock celebrates that sort of milestone but I think we should even if it’s a day or three late. Back in July I got a bit obsessed with this song, his 28th single, released back in 2008 (on the Dig, Lazarus Dig!!! album). The Bad Seeds set up a louche lounge bar groove, a fluid guitar part, some brushed drums and handclaps after the chorus, strumming and drumming away for nearly ten minutes. Over this Nick Cave has fun with the lyrics, a series of characters turning up- Janet, Betty X, Miss Polly, a hundred foot tall man, Alina, Deanna, and a nubian princess (who sparks off the following line ‘just then a black girl with no clothes on danced across the room, we charted the progress of the planets around that boogie-woogie moon’). This being Nick Cave there are literary references. The song title is borrowed from a William Morris novel and the lyrics borrow from the Odyssey. The video was similarly stuffed full of guests- Will Self, Peaches Geldof, Beth Orton, Tim Noble, Sue Webster and Martin McCarthy, the bassist from The Wonder Stuff. Plus some dancers from the Raymond Revue Bar. Happy birthday Mr Cave.

More News From Nowhere

Crispy Bacon

In 1986 Laurent Garnier, a young Frenchman who’d been living in London for a couple of years, moved to Manchester. He went to the Hacienda one night and changed his life. Later on he met Mike Pickering and began djing as DJ Pedro. In the 90s he moved back to France, djing, running a label, producing, that sort of thing. In 1997 he put out his second album, 30, which contained this track…

Crispy Bacon

If you have any interest in or love for techno you should take six minutes out of your day today to play Crispy Bacon. It is Gallic techno par excellence and it is difficult to believe it is twenty years old. I’d imagine at club level volume after midnight it can still demolish a dancefloor too. And just in case there’s any doubt about whether Laurent Garnier still has it, this year he’s put out a three track e.p. on Kompackt called Speicher 95- Tribute. This is the lead track, ten minutes of intense, innovative modern machine music…