Henry Dub

Look, they put the Andrew Weatherall dub of Henry McCullough by BP Fallon and David Holmes on the internet. With moving pictures of the record playing. Some of you will like this a lot. Out tomorrow.

Henry

Henry McCullough is the subject of one of 2016’s best songs, recorded by BP Fallon and David Holmes, a long, euphoric, spoken word tribute to the Northern Irish guitarist and songwriter. BP Fallon’s vocal was recorded when he stayed at Holmes’ house, the night after Henry’s funeral. It’s a stunning piece of work.

On Saturday Record Shop Day will be upon us again, the annual cash cow for record companies and Ebay scalpers, with the odd sideline benefit for independent record shops and fans. In terms of its intentions starting out, it was meant to get people back into record shops. Job done I think. But it’s crossed over into something else now, something more crass and brazenly commercial. On the other hand, irritatingly, there are always one or two things that I want. Andrew Weatherall’s stellar remixes of this track is this year’s must-have record here in the Bagging Area bunker.

God’s Waiting Room

Not content with giving us an Andrew Weatherall radio show every month NTS Radio have now given David Holmes a two hour window to broadcast in. If you got Holmes’ Late Night Tales album last year you’ll have an idea of  where he’s at at the moment. God’s Waiting Room takes in soundtracks, library recordings, psych, rock ‘n’ roll and other recordings from the further extremities of a man’s record collection. No tracklist though so your guess in many cases is as good as mine. In fact your guess may be better than mine.

Bagging Area End Of Year Review

I saw a thing on social media recently which said ‘nobody cares about your end of year review’. Possibly true. But it’s a blogging tradition and so here it is.

2016 has been a wretched year in so many ways but there’s been a real glut of good music from start to finish, from Bowie’s astonishing and difficult to listen to Blackstar (and death) in January through to the very recent album from A Tribe Called Quest (also marked by the death of one of its makers, Phife Dawg).

Albums Of The Year

All of these have spent time on the Bagging Area turntable and/or car stereo…

David Bowie ‘Blackstar’// Andrew Weatherall ‘Convenanza’// Dinosaur Jr ‘Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not’// Unloved ‘Guilt Of Love’//Aphex Twin ‘Cheetah’// A Tribe Called Quest‘We Got It From Here…’//Beyonce ‘Lemonade’//Tim Burgess and Peter Gordon ‘Same Language, Different Worlds’//Toy ‘Clear Shot’//Underworld ‘Barbara Barbara We Face A Shining Future’//Echolocation ‘Empire Blood And Bones’//Sordid Sound System ‘Lux Exterior’//Cavern Of Anti- Matter ‘Void Beats’// Steve Mason ‘Meet The Humans’//Frank Ocean ‘Blonde’// Baltic Fleet ‘The Dear One’//Pete Astor ‘Spilt Milk’//Cobby and Porky‘Cities Below Future Seas// and the much played round here swansong from Iggy Pop ‘Post Pop Depression’

As well as all of these the three that have given me the most repeated joy are…

Woodleigh Research Facility ‘The Phoenix Suburbs (And Other Stories)
Beyond the Wizards Sleeve ‘The Soft Bounce’
Factory Floor ’25 25′

But the most jawdropping album has been a compilation which included new recordings along with old, mixed together perfectly, making something new that was a meditation on life, love, loss and death, and that is David Holmes’ Late Night Tales. So that’s my album of the year.

As a sampler for those that haven’t heard it it opened with Barry Woolnough’s tribute to his wife who died of cancer, a 7″ single on Moine Dubh…

This is Sung Sung’s spooked out cover of 10cc’s I’m Not In Love (not a song I previously particularly liked but this is just wonderful)

And this was a one take vocal performance by BP Fallon to his friend Henry McCullough (a pair of Weatherall remixes are due next year).

E.P. Of The Year

Hardway Bros (Sean Johnston) released a four track e.p. in the early summer and I can’t think of three songs that have sounded any better on one piece of vinyl than Pleasure Cry, My PNO and especially Argonaut. The sound of my summer. Still doing it in December too.

Songs Of The Year

Drew’s songs of the year from last Saturday crosses over with mine in many ways- our 2016 Venn diagram has a big overlapping section. Here are 24 songs from 2016. No rankings, think of this list as a suggestion of the order in which these songs could be played…

Steve Cobby and Rich Arthurs ‘Bushfarmer’
Cobby and Mallinder ‘Tumblefish’
Primal Scream ‘100% Or Nothing Dub (Bobby Selassie And Primal Jah)
David Bowie ‘I Can’t Give Everything Away’
Wussy ‘Ceremony’
Pete Astor ‘Really Something’
Paprika Kinski ‘Kids Of Your Crime’
Iggy Pop ‘Gardenia’
The Hurt ‘Berlin’
Unloved ‘When A Woman Is Around’
The Liminanas ft Peter Hook ‘Garden Of Love’ (Lundi Mouille Mix)
Warpaint ‘New Song’
Woodleigh Research Facility ‘Taqiya’
Massive Attack ‘Ritual Spirit’
Andrew Weatherall ‘The Confidence Man’
The Xx ‘On Hold’
Beyonce ‘Hold Up’
Beyond the Wizards Sleeve ‘Diagram Girl’ (BTWS Re-Animation)
Craig Bratley ft Danielle Moore ‘Play The Game’ (Andrew Weatherall Remix)
Circle Sky ‘Reveal’
Daniel Avery ‘A Mechanical Sky’
Death In Vegas ‘You Disco I Freak’
Andrew Weatherall ‘Ghosts Again’ (Scott Fraser Ghosts In The Piano Mix)
Hardway Bros ‘Argonaut’

Holmes

Friday- and thank fuck for that. It’s been a long and trying week. I’ve got my computer back and it seems to have survived the experience despite the best efforts of the staff at the shop who were borderline incompetent, had no customer service skills whatsoever and didn’t even seem to think an apology was due when I listed the multiple let downs in service they’ve provided me with over the last four weeks.

Today’s tune to lift the spirits is a follow on of sorts from Drew posting LB Bad’s New Age Of Faith last week, the starting point for Sabres Of Paradise’s  1993 classic Smokebelch. David Holmes took Weatherall and co’s track and added a tumbling house piano guaranteed to set the hairs on the back of the neck up straight and a majorette style drumming section. Breakdowns and build ups, and end the of the night has come too soon.

Smokebelch II (David Holmes remix)

If you haven’t yet heard Holmes’ Late Night Tales compilation you really should do so as a matter of urgency, whatever your current tastes. It is much more than a mix cd or compilation. It is an expertly put together and seemless mix of songs to guide you through the small hours, taking in psyche, folk, the weirder end of rock and roll, a children’s choir, ambient and found sounds, the spoken word and some songs recorded by Holmes specifically for this album. It takes in the words of Seamus Heaney, the music of strange bedfellows like BP Fallon, Jon Hopkins, David Crosby, Buddy Holly, The Children Of Sunshine and Moine Dubh’s Barry Woolnough. It tracks a journey through life, complete with loss and love and redemption. It is quite magical and proves that light always finds its way through the dark.

The two covers are kind of the inverse of each other aren’t they?

Papua New Guinea

Ok, last one in this particular run of posts- the extended, tranced and pounding Weatherall remix of Papua New Guinea. Future Sound Of London’s original was more than enough in some ways but Weatherall redefined epic with this one in 1992. Are those seagulls I can hear?

Papua New Guinea (Andrew Weatherall Mix)

And just to bring us bang up to date this is Weatherall’s remix of David Holmes’s Unloved group and their When A Woman Is Around song, a highlight from the recent album- bass heavy and keeping parts of the spoken word section of the song. Out on 12″ for Record Shop Day next month.

At The Moment You Could Say I’m Presently Optimistic

I really enjoyed Guilty Of Love by David Homes’ Unloved project which came out last autumn. There were two long Weatherall dub mixes too which were rather good. Now there’s a new song ahead of an album in March. When A Woman Is Around is even better than Guilty Of Love- rumbling drums, Wall of Sound production, ex-MC5 man Wayne Kramer’s guitar and Jade Vincent’s sultry vocals combining to bring 60s Hollywood into 2016. I’m in an open topped car in sunglasses and a bowling shirt, slipping between lanes and the palm trees. Actually, I’m not- I’ve looked out of the window. It’s still South Manchester and its close to zero.