Softer

Leicester’s eightpiece experimental outfit Echolocation return with their latest recordings, a seven track album called Softer. There’s nothing softer about their approach though- their songs have a tendency to start slowly and build, layering cello and trumpet on top of the guitars, bass and the swinging drums. Over all of this vocalist Pete tells tales, utters controlled rants and vents spleen (Kasabian getting in the neck this time).

There’s some complex and dense arrangements going on here, but the production is skillful, allowing everyone space and time to unfold fully. They’ve got some internet press with this release and a review from no less than Mr Luke Haines, who tweeted ‘Nae bad. Good singer n lyrics.Loose indie drumbeat/jamming. Construct crit. Echolocation crap name. Name is everything. But its good’. Praise indeed from an Autuer and Black Box Recorder. Buy it atBandcamp for only five of your pounds (or for ten pounds a limited edition cd with a hand made furry cover).

 

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Post Everything

I’ve just finished reading the second volume of (former Auteur, former Black Box Recorder man) Luke Haines’ memoirs. At the start of Post Everything Haines claims that since his first book Bad Vibes, set in the mid 90s against the backdrop of Britpop, he’s calmed down a bit, mellowed out, and is not going round creating feuds with all and sundry. The 239 pages of Post Everything then detail mainly what he hates about the early 2000s- the music industry, his record companies, his record company bosses, one of his record company’s boss’s dog, Primal Scream (Must not end up like Bobby Gillespie he notes), The Verve, Richard Ashcroft, the mythologisation of The Clash, the mythologisation of the MC5, his own bands and the albums they make, band reunions, the New York Dolls reunion, the relationship between his bandmates (John Moore and Sarah Nixey), New Labour, Noel Gallagher and Alan McGee hobnobbing with New Labour, Glen Hoddle, Camden, Paul Morley, The Osbornes, digital recording, gigs, tours, Bono (‘Two words… Massive twat’), several men called Graham at the National Theatre, Banksy (the 21st century’s worst man), The Cellist…. the list goes on.


Things Luke Haines likes/tolerates- the National Pop Strike (his idea). New York Dolls (before they reformed). Mott The Hoople. Laudanum. His musical about Nicholas van Hoogstraten.


Things Luke Haines loves- his wife, who he woos when she is already courting the editor of a major music magazine, which ensures zero positive press from that magazine thereafter.


It’s a festering, scabrous, entertaining read, shot through with brains and outsider wit, is utterly misanthropic, and very funny. 

Going Off My Rocker At The Art School Bop

>Select Shun Two

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Another track from a series of free cds that came with Select magazine ten-plus years ago. This is Black Box Recorder, a band formed by former Auteur Luke Haines, John Moore (previously in The Jesus and Mary Chain and John Moore’s Expressway) and singer Sarah Nixey. They made some interesting records, a bit like a sarcastic and caustic St Etienne. This song, The Facts Of Life, is remixed by The Chocolate Layers, a psuedonym for Jarvis Cocker and Steve Mackey (both from Pulp, obviously). For the record this cd was Revolutions 01, and also featured Stereophonics (urgh), Queens Of the Stone Age’s Feel Good Hit Of The Summer (yes!), Alpinestars (Manc electronica), The Go-Betweens (I really should feature something by them), Tailgunner featuring Noel Gallagher (nein danke), The Automator and Kool Keith (turn of the millenium hiphop), The Delgados (never really checked them out but believe they’re very good), Brothers In Sound, My Vitriol, King Adora (ha, remember them), Underworld (Pearl’s Girl live) and Grandaddy. Mixed bag then really.

04 The Facts Of Life.wma#1#1

Luke Haines ‘Bad Reputation’

One of the best music related books last year was Luke Haines’ Bad Vibes- Britpop And My Part In It’s Downfall. The tale of the trip abroad with various Britpop bands ending with Luke firing a flare at a fountain being danced around by members of Oasis and The Verve is brilliant, as is his jumping off a high wall breaking both his ankles to specifically get out of a tour, as is him only refering to the detested cellist as The Cellist (who brings depth, gravity and media attention to the records but knows nothing of Lou Reed), as is his physical inability to type the word of the Britpop band who cannot be named (Kula something).

Luke Haines has a deep and wide back catalogue, from The Auteurs to Blackbox Recorder to several solo records. This is one from a solo album, and features a typically barbed dissection of Gary Glitter and The Glitter Band.

‘Gary Glitter
He’s a bad, bad man
Ruining the reputation of
The Glitter Band’

bad reputation.mp3