Really Something

Over half way through 2016 and the Pete Astor album- Spilt Milk- from back at the start of the year is still sounding really good. This one opens the record, has that Velvets chord change and guitar tone going on and but I think it’s Pete’s vocal delivery, his phrasing, that really makes it. If you haven’t got a copy yet, you should consider it.

Really Something


My Right Hand

Pete Astor is back (new album Spilt Milk out tomorrow). This song channels the later period Velvet Underground and is fucking ace. Lovely little guitar riff, drawled vocals.

From The Loft to The Weather Prophets to Ellis Island Sound to the Dead Trumpets solo album a few years ago, there’s loads of good stuff in Pete’s back pages- maybe nothing has ever quite topped this classic 80s indie single from The Weather Prophets.

Almost Prayed

Ellis Island

                                                                   Russian immigrants, Ellis Island, early 20th century

The new lp from Ellis Island Sound is quietly turning into one of my favourites of this year so far. One half of Ellis Island Sound is Pete Astor (The Loft, The Weather Prophets) but there’s nothing remotely 80s Creation about Regions. This is rhythm led and takes it’s influences from all over the place- skittering drums, horns borrowed from ska records, African sounding guitar parts, some dub bass, steel drums, glockenspiel, reminiscent of 1980 Talking Heads in tone. The single Intro, Airbourne, Travelling is excellent and out now. Posting any one single song doesn’t really give an idea about how varied this album is either but try this one.

We Do Not

Almost Prayed

A lot of the early Creation bands wore leather trousers. I guess it was semi-ironic- floppy fringed boys wearing rock’s most rockist item of clothing. There is some dispute about who were the first- it’s most clearly associated with The Jesus And Mary Chain and Primal Scream. Apparently though the leather trousered pioneers were The Weather Prophets, Pete Astor’s post-The Loft outfit. I think that Almost Prayed is their finest moment. It’s also one of Creation Records’ finest moments and in fact one of the entire fucking genre of 80s independent guitar rock’s finest moments. There are two versions, one the single and the other a re-recording for an album. This is the shorter 2.42 one and is perfect.

Almost Prayed

Prophets Creation

Pete Astor’s second Creation band following The Loft, The Weather Prophets wrote one stone cold indie classic, Almost Prayed, which has been here before. This is a little gem from the B-side.

Loft Creation

A couple more Creation posts to come, kicking off this chilly Monday with Pete Astor’s 80s indie band The Loft, described in the Creation documentary Upside Down as ‘the first proper band Creation signed’. The Loft didn’t last long, splitting up onstage with Pete Astor and drummer Dave Morgan moving on sharpish to The Weather Prophets. The Loft’s best song, Up The Hill And Down The Slope, has been featured at Bagging Area before. This is a live version from a Loft compilation cd released by Rev-ola in 2005. I’d like to tell you when and where the performance dates from but at some point the booklet has been victim of a spillage accident. The pages are stuck together and ripping as I open them, destroying the info. Grrrrr!!! Bleeding kids!!! Anyway, seeing as The Loft only really existed between 1982 and 1985 we’ll just have to say that this is The Loft live, for over six and a half minutes, sometime in the early-to-mid 1980s.

Up The Hill And Down The Slope (Live sometime in the 80s)

Out Of The Loft

Pete Astor has featured at Bagging Area before as head honcho of 80s indie bands The Loft and The Weather Prophets and 90s/00s ambienty act Ellis Island Sound. As well as becoming a lecturer in Popular Studies he’s got a new album out called Songbox- 2 cds, one of new songs and the other cover versions of his songs by others. It comes in a very nice cardboard box. Pete’s an underrated songwriter but a good one, as this swinging, bluesy song demonstrates, and the woodwind instruments make this as good a way as any to start the working week.