Just Like Gold

In 1981 Aztec Camera released two 7″ singles on Postcard Records- Just Like Gold and Mattress Of Wire. Roddy Frame has said since that they will never be re-released in any other format, no re-issues, no cd compilations, no boxed sets. I respect the purity of that, the sense of these are two time capsules locked into the when they were made and that the way to experience them is in the form they were put out. The downside of this is that they are somewhat expensive to buy second hand. The four songs across the four sides of vinyl are magical and even more so when you consider they were written by a teenager. To post an mp3 of them is defeating the purity of Roddy’s vision but also a little inevitable.

Just Like Gold

And this is a live recording from 1983 Aztec Camera gig in Hamburg, Germany, a cover of The Clash’s Garageland. Free download too. Loads more Aztec Camera rarities here.

Advertisements

For A Life That’s Fit For Living

Good morning Britain.

This 1990 Aztec Camera single is a real favourite of mine. Roddy wrote this state of the union address and realised it sounded so much like a Big Audio Dynamite tune that it would be rude not to ask Mick Jones to join him. This mix from the single isn’t too different from the original version, adding some strings.

Good Morning Britain (Julian Mendelson remix)

Norman Cook did a mix which reconstructed it a little and added a touch of 808. It could be described as polite acid (but could have gone so much further).

Good Morning Britain (Morning Acid Remix)

The main message of the chorus, after four verses dissecting each of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, seems just as relevant today as it did twenty four years ago…

‘The past is steeped in shame
But tomorrow’s fair game
For a life that’s fit for living
Good morning Britain’

Say no to Farage and the small minded Little Englanders. Vote Frame and Jones.

The video is a real period piece.

Forty Days Of Rain

In a move guaranteed to cheer the heart of certain Scottish bloggers and many more besides, Roddy Frame has a new album out shortly and it is preceded by this song which I hope isn’t tempting fate weather-wise. It’s just turned nice. The album, Seven Dials, is out in May.

If you want a chuckle, do a Google image search for Roddy Frame. He can write a tune, he can play guitar… he’s had some iffy pictures taken over the years.

The Spirit Shows

August 1981, a young Roddy Frame leads Aztec Camera to De Villes nightclub in Manchester, just off Albert Square. They play The Spirit Shows, Just Like Gold and Remember The Docks and someone has uploaded a recording to Soundcloud. De Villes was the first nightclub I ever went to (not this night I must add, I was only eleven in 1981). De Villes must have had a slack door policy back in the mid 80s as there’s no way I looked 18, I barely looked 16. I drank a bit, danced (after a fashion) with my mates and got off with a girl in fishnets. It’s funny, the things that stick with you.

I’m off on my youngest brother’s stag do, a day and evening in Liverpool. Nothing too wild, a few beers, late train home. Someone’s threatened a Beatles tribute band at The Cavern. Wish me luck.

Reason For Living

I heard this Roddy Frame song somewhere on the internet recently, from his 1998 album The North Star. I sort of meant to get it at the time and never got around to it and still don’t own it today- and looking at various online marketplaces it isn’t cheap. I’ll start keeping an eye out for it in the second hand shops I frequent.

The song is a good ‘un- lovely guitars and a cracking vocal. I sometimes think that Roddy clearly writes great songs and sings and plays them really well but sometimes it’s just a bit too tasteful, too Sunday supplement, that he needs a bit of roughness in the production or to play with musicians that can’t play that well as the session people he chooses. I like this one though- it chimes and rings and lifts and does what good guitar pop should do.

Reason For Living

I See You Crying And I Want To Kill Your Friends

There aren’t many days that can’t be immediately improved by a spinning of Aztec Camera’s 1983 single Oblivious. Brilliant tune, sprightly guitar playing, cracking lyric, and written, recorded and released when Roddy Frame was twelve years old or something. When Rough Trade put this out it just missed out on the  top 40. When WEA re-released it was a hit. Bloody majors with their big budgets.

Oblivious

Killermont Street


A short ride on the top deck back to Tuesday’s postee Mr Roddy Frame, who ditched the lovestruckness of many of his songs on Killermont Street, realism over romanticism. Killermont Street was on 1988’s glossed up Love but this version is Roddy solo, live with acoustic guitar and piano.

‘Whisky words tumble down in the street with the pain that they cure
Sentimentally yours from Killermont Street’
‘We can get there by bus
From Killermont Street’