Mark E. Smith leaves us

Mark E Smith, the irascible frontman of Manchester post-punk band the Fall, has died at the age of 60.

The Fall are, for me, a barometer of how my acceptance of different music changed over the years as I aged and became much more open to different genres with my tastes 53b152d1c719d_mark_e_smithbecoming increasingly eclectic. I would listen to the John Peel Show, who The Fall appeared in session for 24 times, and wish that the next song would come on as I thought the Fall were bloody awful.

As the years passed I thought they were OK, and then at some point, for reasons I cannot entirely explain, it all sort of clicked into place and I really like a lot of what I’ve heard. I have been looking for a copy of Hex Enduction Hour on vinyl for quite a number of years now as I thought that would be a good place to start digging into the rather large back catalogue. Never found it and if I do the price probably just doubled, as it tends to do when an artist passes away.

Yesterday I drove to work accompanied by a Fall playlist. I arrived rather grumpy with everybody I met but quite happy to be so. This is the playlist:

1. Totally Wired
2. The Classical
3. Mountain Energy
4. Repetition
5. Spoilt Victorian Child
6. Victoria
7. Blindness
8. Mr Pharmacist
9. Hip Priest
10. Theme From Sparta F.C.
11. How I Wrote Elastic Man
12. C.R.E.E.P.
13. Hit The North Pt 1
14. L.A.
15. Kicker Conspiracy
16. Lost In Music
17. There’s A Ghost In My House
18. Lie Dream Of Casino Soul
19. Eat Y’self Fitter
20. Oh!Brother
21. Who Makes The Nazis?
22. The Man Whose Head Expanded
23. Rowche Rumble
24. 2 x 4
25. Cruiser’s Creek



The Brit Awards – meh

So the Brit awards will soon be upon us and, having had a look at the nominees I am increasingly of the opinion that it is all bollocks really. I haven’t watched it since I discovered James Corden was presenting it, let me look that up and see when it was………………. 2009, that’s longer than I thought. I did see the Bowie tribute last year on youtube though, Corden wasn’t in it.

I’ve always had issues with the Brit Awards, many of which are probably entirely unreasonable. For instance, I dislike it because it is populist.  I have long been of the opinion that just because something sells by the bucketload doesn’t mean it is actually good, often it means that it is composed of the lowest common denominator to appeal to the most people. I think that the fact that  Robbie Williams holds the record for the most Brit Awards, 13 as a solo artist and another five as part of Take That, is indicative of this. One of those is essentially a Brit awards for winning the most Brit awards, or The Outstanding Contribution to Music/BRITs Icon award. He won this in 2017, he also won it in 2010, I assume as the BRITs Icon as he hasn’t made an outstanding contribution to music, quite the opposite in my opinion. I just had a look back at some of the awards, I think this is probably my favourite, from 1993, Best British single.

Could It Be Magic
Take That
A Million Love Songs
Take That
Shakespears Sister
Good Night Girl
Wet Wet Wet
It Only Takes a Minute
Take That

All of the above are a bit crap but it seems a pretty sure thing if you are 3 of the 5 nominations. The winner was a cover version of a Barry Manilow song. All these were also eligible for the award:

The KLF featuring Tammy Wynette – Justified And Ancient
The Prodigy – Everybody In The Place (EP)
Eric Clapton – Tears In Heaven
George Michael – Toofunky
The Shamen – Boss Drum
The Shamen – LSI
Marc Almond – The Days Of Pearly Spencer
Annie Lennox – Why
Soul II Soul – Joy
Annie Lennox – Walking On Broken Glass

In the same year, Curtis Steigers was nominated for two awards. I’m not commenting on that, I’m just telling you.

I think this is the only Brit Award thing I can remember having liked:

Anyway, this years nominees, with the best of them highlighted (in my opinion), are:

British Male Solo Artist

Ed Sheeran
Liam Gallagher
Loyle Carner
Rag’n’Bone Man

British Female Solo Artist

Dua Lipa
Jessie Ware
Kate Tempest
Laura Marling
Paloma Faith

British Group

London Grammar
Royal Blood
Wolf Alice
The xx

International Group

Arcade Fire
Foo Fighters
The Killers
LCD Soundsystem

British Breakthrough Act

Dua Lipa
J Hus
Loyle Carner

Album of the Year

Dua Lipa – Dua Lipa
Ed Sheeran – ÷
J Hus – Common Sense
Rag’n’Bone Man – Human
Stormzy – Gang Signs & Prayer

British Single of the Year

Calvin Harris featuring Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry and Big Sean – “Feels”
Clean Bandit featuring Zara Larsson – “Symphony”
Dua Lipa – “New Rules”
Ed Sheeran – “Shape of You”
J Hus – “Did You See”
Jax Jones featuring Raye – “You Don’t Know Me”
Jonas Blue featuring William Singe – “Mama”
Liam Payne featuring Quavo – “Strip That Down”
Little Mix – “Touch”
Rag’n’Bone Man – “Human”

International Male Solo Artist

Childish Gambino
DJ Khaled
Kendrick Lamar

International Female Artist

Alicia Keys
Taylor Swift

British Video of the Year

Anne-Marie – “Ciao Adios”
Calvin Harris featuring Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry and Big Sean – “Feels”
Clean Bandit featuring Zara Larsson – “Symphony”
Dua Lipa – “New Rules”
Ed Sheeran – “Shape of You”
Harry Styles – “Sign of the Times”
Jonas Blue featuring William Singe – “Mama”
Liam Payne featuring Quavo – “Strip That Down”
Little Mix – “Touch”
Zayn and Taylor Swift – “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever”

Overall it doesn’t look like a great year for British music, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t, just that the BRITS doesn’t look beyond what is right in front of their noses. If I may throw the following into the arena:

Slowdive – Slowdive
Four Tet – New Energy
Baxter Dury – Prince of Tears
Ghostpoet – Dark Days + Canapes
Bonobo – Migration
Tricky – Ununiform
Kelley Lee Owens – Kelley Lee Owens
Gorillaz – Humanz
Public Service Broadcasting – Every Valley
Mogwai – Every Country’s Sun
Forest Swords – Compassion
Hidden Orchestra – Dawn Chorus
Morrissey – Low in High School (Not really sure about this one but it’s eligible at least)

Anyway, these are interesting releases but, of course, don’t get a sniff. Perhaps that’s actually a good thing.

After watching the Cure video above I dId go and have a search for BRITS performances that I actually did like, there were more than I remembered to be fair.

This is with some hindsight but back in 1997 the Bee Gees did a medley, it’s quite sad to watch it now and realise there is only one guy left:

On the other hand, the Brit awards throws up crap like this:

I do remember liking this Manics performance form 1997, the album was absolutely everywhere of course, massive:

A couple of interesting Bowie performances:

There’s lots from the past that was pretty good I guess, and Madonna falling over was funny the other year of course. I won’t watch it this year either though, I’ll see the results online and they will undoubtedly make me angry.















Spinning 45’s

I have been playing some 45’s this evening, it’s more effort than chucking an album on but I rather enjoyed it anyway, it’s like a mixtape of sorts I suppose. Some of the 45’s were picked up in a couple of job lots and I’ve just found time to play them, they all play fine, which is good.


Before playing anything I had to make some adjustments to the equipment. The family decided they would put a record on while I was at work. I’d left it set at 45 rpm and they put on a 33 1/3, Damn by Kendrick Lamar to be exact, and couldn’t figure out why it sounded so odd. In an attempt to fix it they pressed the Loudness button and the Muting button on the amp, adjusted the Balance and the Bass. when that didn’t work they messed about with the settings at the back of the tone arm and took the weight off accidentally and couldn’t figure out how to get it back on. It took me 15 minutes to put it right, mostly because it took me ages to spot the muting button was pressed in.

Anyway, here is the pile of records that were played today. I made a spotify playlist of them, because I do that sort of thing, it’s here:

Haven’t played ‘Music for Chameleons’ by Gary Numan for a long time, the intro could easily be by Japan (Pino Palladino on bass seems to be the reason why). The B-Side (Noise Noise) features Theresa Bazar of Dollar on Vocals, it also has David Van Day listed as providing ‘Helpful Hints’, I think that can be translated as being a pain in the arse. Why Gary? Why? I didn’t play the B-side.

Looking at what I chose to play I think it fair to say that I am the DJ that nobody would ever hire twice!



Dolores O’Riordan Dies aged 46

This just came up on my newsfeed, apparently it was quite sudden. Bloody hell, that’s a real shame. It always hits a little harder when the artist is younger than you are.

She left some good music behind.

Jimmy Cliff in The Harder They Come

r-551103-1507215141-8967-jpegI was in the local used record store the other day looking through the stacks for something of interest and coming up with nothing much, well, nothing I felt I could justify spending the money on at least. There is a lot there I’d like to buy but sometimes the prices are prohibitive, such as a Mogwai 12″ single priced at £35, way too rich for my blood.

I did come across the soundtrack to the movie, The Harder They Come, a film from 1972. A young Jamaican man, wishing to become a successful Reggae singer, finds himself tied to corrupt record producers and drug pushers. I found a trailer for the DVD release, and if you look you can find the whole film on youtube, actually, I’ll just post it at the end of this to save you the trouble. Here is that trailer though:

The movie has some killer tunes which, I think, make this a pretty essential album. The one I was most pleased about, and which I hadn’t noticed was even on the album when I bought it, is Pressure Drop by The Maytals, love that track.

The soundtrack is mostly Jimmy Cliff though, and the tracks he provides are also essential. Hopefully you already know them, but just in case here they are (one is from 2012, the Jools Holland Show, great performance, he was 64 at the time):

I have never found Rivers of Babylon even remotely listenable, although I can only recall the Boney M version, but this one by The Melodians, well, I rather like it actually:

Johnny Too Bad by The Slickers was quite the surprise as John Martyn did a version on the album Grace and Danger, although I never knew it was a version, so to hear it performed so completely differently was great. The lyrics have been changed about a bit from the original Slickers version but here are both:

I have no idea why the last two tracks on the albums B side are also on the A side, but it doesn’t matter, they are worth listening to again anyway. This is an essential album and if it isn’t in that 1001 albums before you die book, it bloody well should be.

Oh, and there’s even some Desmond Decker:

Why aren’t you getting your own copy right now? No point in delaying, get on with it.


A1 –Jimmy Cliff  – You Can Get It If You Really Want
A2 –Scotty – Draw Your Brakes
A3– The Melodians – Rivers Of Babylon
A4 – Jimmy Cliff – Many Rivers To Cross
A5 – The Maytals- Sweet And Dandy
A6 – Jimmy Cliff – The Harder They Come

B1 –The Slickers – Johnny Too Bad
B2 – Desmond Dekker- Shanty Town
B3 – The Maytals – Pressure Drop
B4 – Jimmy Cliff – Sitting In Limbo
B5 – Jimmy Cliff – You Can Get It If You Really Want
B6 –Jimmy Cliff – The Harder They Come

Rating: 9.2

I am not recommending the film by the way, just the soundtrack.

The Police – The Early Years

I was still at school when I first heard the police, and I’m pretty sure the first thing I heard was Can’t Stand Losing You, so it was either 1978 or 1979 when it was re-issued. I cantstandsuspect the former as I would have been 11 maybe 12 at the time, which seems right. Somebody had a copy with them at school, I was smoking behind the gym before going into a Religious Education class in a temporary class room, it is probably still in use today, and I remember somebody showing it to me, it may have been the blue vinyl one or the black, I don’t recall which, or who it was that had it, or why they had it with them. I just remember being shown it. This would have been the second proper release, the first having been Roxanne (and Fall Out on an independent before that, with a different guitarist)

After that I somehow became absolutely obsessed with The Police for two albums and then, quite suddenly, I wasn’t. But that first album, ‘Oulandos D’amour‘, I loved that and it was a time where we, as kids, had no income so everything was 7″ singles first, and it didn’t really matter when you got them, 6 months after release or on the day of release, just as long as you got them. Occasionally there was some swapping done which was anything you could throw in for a vinyl record from another kid who really wanted 10 cigarettes and a box of matches, or some other item that you might have access to.

I had a small but steady income from school dinner tickets. Coming from a single parent family I received free school meals. On a Monday I would queue up with everybody else for that weeks dinner tickets, collect my free ones and then go back down the queue and sell them for a bit less than somebody was going to buy their official ones for. We both roxanne_-_the_police_28original_uk_release29won really, except I never had any dinner at school to speak of course, a problem that continues to a degree today.

Before I owned either of those first two albums I had 7″ singles, Roxanne without the telephone cover, just a plain one. I had Can’t Stand Losing You in blue vinyl with the hanging man cover, So Lonely with the jumpsuit cover, and at some point I had a copy of that first single, Fall Out’ with Nothing Achieving as the B side, I think it was the 1979 reissue after they had their initial success, but the Stewart Copeland penned A side is a bloody good track:

Do you remember the So Lonely jumpsuit cover? I thought they looked so cool and I had no self realisation that they might, but that I would look bloody stupid if I wore the same thing.


The second album came out and I had, from somewhere, the first two singles from it, Message in a Bottle and Walking on the Moon. All these singles had something that is very difficult, perhaps impossible, to experience today, I actually have difficulty describing what it is, but I’ll give it a go. While I gather my thoughts, here are a few videos to enjoy:

So for those first three singles I had only the records, bits from Smash Hits, Sounds or Melody Maker and not much more. I didn’t see any of the videos at the time, the most I would see would be TOTP and, for instance, on Thursday 3rd May 1979 I must have been out, because I didn’t see this:

I don’t remember seeing this either:

I DO remember seeing this one though:

My point is that there was limited access to information about the band, a lot was word of mouth or from the aforementioned publications, so there was a degree of mystery involved. There was also a sense of community, where you would go to somebody else’s house and they would play you a record you didn’t have yet, including the b side that you wouldn’t hear on the radio, only there. The music was tied in with key life events, the first this or that linked back to the songs. There was a lack of derivation and knowledge of influences, what you were listening to was seemingly brand new, plucked from the ether for your listening pleasure and this made it feel warm and complete and, somehow, specifically for you. That is what it is not possible to experience anymore but it is what I experienced then.

Speaking of the lack of information available to the young fan, in 1979 Andy Summers was 37 years old, I had no idea , though I knew he was a bit older than the other two, and don’t really know what I would have thought about it then, I think it would have irked me somewhat. Sting was 28 and Stewart Copeland was 27, which seems much more acceptable, to a 12 year old.

I don’t recall where or when I finally got the second album, Reggatta de Blanc, but I remember getting the first album, Outlandos d’Amour, very well. I was visiting my Mother and Step-Father-to-be during the school summer holidays. I was going on a bit about how I wanted this Police record that they had in the record shop at the end of the street, it was £3.99 I think. Eventually my Mother gave me a £5 note and told me to go and get it, so I did, this made me very happy indeed. When my Step-Father-to-be came home I was sat there with it and thanked him for it. There was then much shouting, slamming of doors and  bit of a hissy fit, which made me feel rather uncomfortable, but not guilty. My Dad was bringing up two boys with no financial contribution and little emotional contribution either, and had been doing so for 4 or 5 years. £5 was a piss in the ocean really. Sure, money was no doubt tight, but overall, my brother and I were probably some of the least expensive children they could possibly have.

Then came something that I really coveted. The six pack! It was a collection of seven-inch singles released in 1980. The pack came in a PVC folder and contained the first five A&M singles plus a mono version of The Bed’s Too Big Without You, which was the_police_-_six_packunreleased elsewhere at the time. The records in the pack were all produced on blue vinyl in picture covers with specially adapted labels which featured an overhead picture of the heads of the band (used on the back cover of the Reggatta de Blanc LP), rather than the original “A&M” logo. Each single was also accompanied by a special picture card (3 group shots and 3 solo shots), with the lyrics of each single printed on the reverse.

It was The Bed’s Too Big Without You that I wanted as far as songs go, but I wanted all that blue vinyl as well, and that Roxanne telephone cover. I didn’t know at the time that it was on Reggatta de Blanc as I didn’t have the album at that point. Had I known I probably wouldn’t have been quite so desperate to own it, which was a desire that was never fulfilled. While it was readily available I couldn’t scrape together the money for it. I do still occasionally think about buying it now, a decent copy is about £25.

From somewhere I did have one of The Police badge picture discs, I can’t remember which one it was though, it may have been from third album Zenyatta Mondatta, which means it was possibly Don’t Stand So Close To Me, which means it would have been this one, which looks familiar:


It was around the time of the third album that I lost interest, not completely, I have all the original albums, a few singles and at one point I had a CD Box set with everything they released on it. What I lost was that feeling that I spoke of before, after the first two albums it was as though that special shine had gone, for me at least, and it was very much to do with everything else that was going on in my life at the time. It is why, in my opinion, nothing they did after those first two albums comes close. The only thing I would change about Outlandos d’Amour is Be My Girl Sally, you know how some jokes are only really funny the first time you hear them and become increasingly unfunny the more you hear them until they just make you cringe? Well that is Be My Girl Sally for me, Andy Summers should have been banned from song writing after that abomination.

So in summation, I loved those albums, and all the singles, the singles first actually and I’ve been playing them today and they are just brilliant. I’ll leave you with this very short video I just shot, perhaps it sums up everything much more succinctly than I could with words.



Catatonia – Misunderstood?

I’ve always liked Catatonia, from when I first heard them, which was 1997. It was 4 years after the release of their first single at that point but ‘Mulder & Scully’ caught my attention, not only because it was a catchy number and that I was a bit of an X-Files fan, but because of the undisguised Welsh accent of lead vocalist, Cerys Matthews. I liked that, being from there myself and having endured several years of people taking the piss out of my accent, it was good to hear somebody be rather proud of it.

I only ever owned one thing by Catatonia though and that was a CD single of ‘Londinium’ which I saw in a bargain bucket one day not long after it was released. There were several occasions when I very nearly bought the second album “international Velvet’ but ended up getting something else instead.

I listen to the Cerys Matthews show on Radio 6 and a few months ago, while listening to the show, decided to start looking for some old Catatonia records. It’s an ongoing thing and I don’t have any albums as yet, they are damn expensive, but I have picked up several singles, most of which rather surprised me. They are really nicely done, interesting artwork, coloured vinyl, and of course, good tracks.

Here are what I have so far:

I’m a sucker for coloured vinyl and these are really nice examples, the only one in black vinyl being ‘Londinium’.

Speaking of which, it is probably one of my favourite tracks of theirs, particularly the lyrics, which have nice pauses to change the meaning of the end of the previous line a little.

London never sleeps, it just sucks
The life out of me, and the money from my pocket
London always creeps, showbiz hugs
The life out of me, have some dignity honey
Euston, Paddington, train station please
Make the red lights turn green, endlessly
My black cab rolls through the neon disease
Endlessly, endlessly

Here is a brief compilation of the singles I have, reacquaint yourself or listen for the first time, it may be better than you think;

Currently Listening to……….



Discussed in greater detail HERE

Vinyl Moon Volume 028: Long Intuition

My second album arrived from Vinyl Moon this week and it is really rather good. Before I go any further I will re-iterate that it is too expensive for a UK subscriber, there, that’s said, no need to mention it again until next time.

VINYL MOON creates an immersive music experience by curating a mix of new songs by emerging artists, pressing them on limited edition vinyl, and packaging them in original artwork record jackets. – This is true, they do, and this months is really a rather lovely thing:

Volume 28 is titled  – Long Intuition.

I don’t think I need describe it much as you can see it in the images I stole from Discogs, saves me doing it myself, but having lovely and interesting packaging is not the whole story of course, what about the music? Well, below are the first three tracks so you can have yourself a listen. I’ve played the album twice all the way through so far and I like it, some great selections.

Full Tracklist

A1 1st Vows All I Hear Is Waves
A2 Instupendo Play Palette
A3 Steven Bamidele You Can’t Put Out This Fire
A4 Jacqui Siu Fluorescent Flowers
A5 Kloyd Balearo
B1 Dr. Doctor Turbulence
B2 Moods Truth
B3 Girlhood Together
B4 Siobhan Sainte Midnight
B5 Shuhandz & High Flown Apex

If you this looks like something you may like yourself, then here’s a link VINYL MOON 

I’ve already paid for the next one but I’m going to play this one several more times before getting my expectations up for that one.


There are a number of albums that I would really like, but they have long been out of print. I heard yesterday that two of these are about to be re-issued, which is wonderful news. Now I could still get the originals, but the prices are high and I’m quite happy with a re-issue to be honest, at least in the case of these two.

The first is one of four from Julian Cope, I have the other three. They are here if you wanted to take a look. The one I’m interested in is Jehovakill from 1992. The cheapest one available on Discogs is £70, and I’m never likely to pay that, so a re-issue including P & P at £30 seems much more my level.


Jehovahkill is the eighth album by Julian Cope, released in 1992. Its original version was titled Julian H. Cope. The album cover depicts the Callanish Stones, a site with a cruciform layout that predates Christ by at least 2,000 years.

A good companion read is Cope’s book, The Modern Antiquarian, or the accompanying TV program, which is all about ancient sites and is fantastically interesting. Just in case I’ll include the TV program below, but if it’s not your sort of thing that’s fine. Anyway, Jehovahkill, Peggy Suicide and Autogeddon are the golden age of solo Cope in my opinion. Just the right side of weird and odd, before careering off the road into the land of I’m not interested in listening so much to this new stuff.  In fairness, I am prepared to give 20 Mothers another go, and Interpreter but anything after 1996? Doubt it. Ok, this though, brilliant album.

The original album was three sided but this one is four sided:


Soul Desert
No Hard Shoulder To Cry On
The Mystery Trend


Up-Wards At 45º
Know (Cut My Friend Down)
Slow Rider


Gimme Back My Flag
Poet Is Priest….
Julian H. Cope
The Subtle Energies Commission


Fear Loves This Place
The Tower
Peggy Suicide Is Missing

The other album that is being re-issued is from The Future Sound Of London, and is one 81doqhfptkl-_sl1500_of only two albums of theirs that I really, really, really want (I have quite a lot already), the other being Dead Cities and this one being Lifeforms. It is re-released on January 26th on 180g vinyl. Lifeforms is considered to be a pioneering and influential classic electronic album – originally reaching No. 6 in the UK top 40 album chart. It is 24 years since this has been available on vinyl so it is about bloody time. I have the 12″ single, which is really a mini album and is brilliant with the contribution from Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins being sublime. There’s also the Cascade 12″, also wonderful.

I have never listened to the entire album, just what is on the 2 x 12″ I have, the reason being that I have been sort of saving it until I own it, which may seem a little silly, I could just stream it, but I don’t want to. I want to put it on the the turntable and listen to it.

I’m rather excited to receive it. I did actually find a copy of it at a record fair once, priced at £80 I think, again, I probably could have bought it but that is more than I want to spend on a single album. Getting it is easy now, it is available on pre-order from Amazon for £23.46.


01 – Cascade (6:00)
02 – Ill Flower (3:25)
03 – Flak (4:53)
04 – Bird Wings (1:30)
05 – Dead Skin Cells (6:51)
06 – Lifeforms (5:18)
07 – Eggshell (6:46)
08 – Among Myselves (5:53)
09 – Domain (2:48)
10 – Spineless Jelly (4:42)
11 – Interstat (0:55)
12 – Vertical Pig (6:45)
13 – Cerebral (3:31)
14 – Life Form Ends (5:03)
15 – Vit (6:48)
16 – Omnipresence (6:39)
17 – Room 208 (6:13)
18 – Elaborate Burn (3:15)
19 – Little Brother (5:13)

Joan Armatrading is cheap

I don’t want to go on about it too much, except I am probably about to, but the price of used Joan Armatrading vinyl is ridiculously low. I currently have nine albums and one 12″ single, here they are:


9 of the above cost me £1 each and one, the self titled, cost me £3. A total of £12. The reason they are so cheap, I think, is twofold, a lack of demand and a lot of availability. Obviously this is good for me as it means, because I appreciate her songwriting and delivery, that I don’t have to spend too much, but I genuinely believe that more people should look back and maybe appreciate just how good some of the songs were and maybe pick some up themselves.

I am not crusader for her by any means, but when I listen to the eponymous album I can’t help but wonder why every home doesn’t have one, it is filled with such great songs. Here are is a collection of tracks from some of the albums above, they really are worth a listen.

As a side note, on the recording of (I love it when you) call me names she had a killer all star band, Peter Gabriel’s bass player Tony Levin on bass guitar and drummer Jerry Marotta plus Genesis’ touring guitarist Daryl Stuermer on slide and rhythm guitars and King Crimson veteran Adrian Belew on lead guitar solos. Stewart Copeland plays on the album it’s taken from as well.

Ok, one last attempt just in case I have failed so far, ignore the video images below, just listen to the song, it is a beautiful piece of writing and composition:

Sinking, caught up in a whirling motion
Such a strange sensation
The currents uncertain
Like sails of a mill I spin

Like wheels I move in a circle
While you stand on the bank
Immune or evasive
Throw me a lifeline, save me

Intimacy and affection, frozen
In this game of chance I forfeit
Full hand of love with no counters
Like a moth with no flame to persuade me

Like blood in the rain running thin
While you stand on the inside, looking in

Save me, inside looking in
Complete in yourself
Throw me a lifeline, save me

Do yourself a favour, that is all.

John Peel Radio Show – 08/04/2003

Featuring Explosions In The Sky in session.

Sludgefest – SOS (Must Destroy)
The Soul Lifters – Hot, Funky and Sweaty (Funk)
Dylan – Dark Planet (Freak)
Dick Dale – Shredded Heat (Hightone)
Explosions In The Sky – First Breath After Coma (Session)
Beenie Man with T.O.K. – Bring It On (South Rakkas Crew)
DEF Feat DJ Three D – DEF Momentum (Street Sounds)
The Black Keys – Hard Row (Fat Possum)
Big Stick – Drag-Racing (Recess)
Akufen – ? (Trapez)
Numbers – At The Mall (Troubleman Unlimited)
K-Line – Down Around (Boss Tunage)
Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra – Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (His Masters Voice)
Vanishing Breed – Flowers Open For Flight Of The Golden Butterfly (Static Caravan)
Explosions In The Sky – The Moon Is Down (Session)
People Like Us – Stifled Love (Soleilmoon)
Magoo – Can’t Get Off The Ground Today (May Go)
Lesser and Venetian Snares – Mensa Disco Queers (Tigerbeat6)
Colder – Shiny Star (Output)
I’m Being Good – Nostalgic For Fake Times (Johnson Family)
Liqitex – Liquitex (Secret Agent)
Fast Floor – Roll The Beats 2003 (Audio Rehab)
Coin Op – The Curve (Fierce Panda)
Explosions In The Sky – Memorial (Session)
Johnny Duhon – So What? (Anticon)
Artimus Pyle – And All That Remains Is Sorrow (Prank)

Album cover of the year 2017

Art Vinyl have a yearly cover of the year thing and some of those below were the nominees for 2017:


I’m sure you recognise some or maybe all of them. I find the inclusion of Four Tet an odd one as, while I have and like the album, I didn’t think the cover all that impressive.

I believe that ‘Run the jewels’ were the winners with this:


It’s good, I like it. I preferred the cover from Actress, and the one from Arca to be honest, I would also throw Bjork in there as well probably. Actually, there’s quite a few more I like, I’ll put them below and you decide for yourself.

The Cramps

When sorting out my records into their lovely new shelving I found a Cramps album, this was no surprise as I knew I had it, what was a surprise was that I found two more that I had completely forgotten about. I haven’t listened to them since some time in the 80’s as far as I can recall so I gave them a listen to remind myself.

Just in case you didn’t know: The Cramps were an American garage punk band, formed in 1976 and active until 2009. They split after the death of lead singer Lux Interior. The line-up rotated a lot over their existence, with the husband-and-wife duo of Interior and lead guitarist and occasional bass guitarist Poison Ivy comprising the only permanent members. The addition of guitarist Bryan Gregory and drummer Pam Ballam resulted in the first complete lineup in April 1976.

They were part of the early CBGB punk rock movement that had emerged in New York and were one of the first punk bands, and also widely recognized as one of the prime innovators of psychobilly.

Their music is mostly in rockabilly form, played at varying tempos, with a minimal drumkit. An integral part of the early Cramps sound was dual guitars, without a bassist. The focus of their songs’ lyrical content and their image was camp humor, sexual double-entendre, and retro horror/sci-fi b-movie iconography.

Their sound was heavily influenced by early rockabilly, rhythm and blues, and rock and roll like Link Wray and Hasil Adkins, 1960s surf music acts such as The Ventures and Dick Dale, 1960s garage rock artists like The Standells, The Trashmen, The Green Fuz and The Sonics, as well as the post-glam/early punk scene from which they emerged, as well as citing Ricky Nelson as being an influence during numerous interviews. They also were influenced to a degree by the Ramones and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, who were an influence for their style of theatrical horror-blues.

These are the three I have:



A1 TV Set 3:22
A2 Rock On The Moon 1:43
A3 Garbage Man 3:32
A4 I Was A Teenage Werewolf 3:05
A5 Sunglasses After Dark 3:47
A6 The Mad Daddy 3:16

B1 Mystery Plane 3:40
B2 Zombie Dance 1:53
B3 What’s Behind The Mask 2:06
B4 Strychnine 2:25
B5 I’m Cramped 2:36
B6 Tear It Up 2:31
B7 FeverOrgan 4:16

Track A4,’I was a teenage werewolf’ is why I bought this album initially, though I can’t recall where I first heard the track, I suspect it was the John Peel show though as he played it several times in 1980. I didn’t buy the album until 83/84 though.

Apparently there was a dispute with Miles Copeland over song rights so there was one more album released, Psychedelic Jungle, then a hiatus for a couple of years while all the legal bits and pieces were sorted. After the enforced break they released a live album, this one:



Thee Most Exalted Potentate Of Love
You Got Good Taste
Call Of The Wighat
Faster Pussycat
I Ain’t Nuthin’ But A Gorehound
Psychotic Reaction

Well, more of an E.P.  or mini album really, it’s 32minutes long, but this is the second record of theirs I have. I don’t remember ever listing to it before so I’ll give it a spin today.

And finally, I have this one:



How Far Can Too Far Go? 4:10
The Hot Pearl Snatch 3:16
People Ain’t No Good 3:45
What’s Inside A Girl? 3:21
Can Your Pussy Do The Dog? 3:20
Kizmiaz 2:59
Cornfed Dames 5:26
Chicken 1:39
(Hot Pool Of) Womanneed 3:09
Aloha From Hell 2:32
It’s Just That Song 2:32

I remember playing this one much more, lots of puns, innuendo and psychobilly fun. There’s something about them that I’ve always liked, it may be, certainly during the period of the albums I have, how they always seem to be outsiders doing whatever they feel like doing. This may not in reality be true but it is my perception of the band.

Everybody sing along now!

Here kitty kitty.
You better move along.
Cuz the big cats walk at the break of dawn.
Now doggonnit baby.
Oohh I said doggone…Hey can your pussy do the dog?
Can your pussy do the dog?
Can your pussy do the (houndog,
poodlecut) baby?
Can your pussy do the dog?
This whole mess useless now as a whistle on a plow.
If your pussy can’t do the dog.
I’m the king of the jungle.
They call me tiger man.
I’m gonna do the bird.
If I can,
if I can.
My bird can do the dog.
If your pussy can?
Come on and wag that tail.
Baby you can’t fail.
If’n your pussy can’t do the dog.
Hey hey hey…Hully hully gully…No pedigree from France will get you in the dance.
Lessin your pussy can do the dog.
Come on and wag that tail baby you can’t fail.
If’n your pussy can do the dog.
Cha cha cha!

And again, sing it loud:

Whoa…there’s some things baby I just can’t swallow
Mama told me that girls are hollow

What’s inside a girl?
Somethin’s tellin’ me there’s a whole nuther world

Ya gotta pointy bra…ten inch waist
Long black stockings all over the place
Boots…buckles…belts outside. W
Hatcha got in there yer tryin’ a-hide?

What’s inside a girl?
Ain’t no hotter question in a so-called civilized world

Can’t see it by satellite baby that’s cheatin’
The President’s callin’ an emergency meetin’
The King of Siam sent a telegram sayin’
“Wop bop a loop a lop a lop boom bam!”

What’s inside a girl?
Somethin’s tellin’ me there’s a whole nuther world

I will probably keep my eyes open for anything else that pops up in the used bins and add to these three at some point as I just can’t seem to help liking them. They are the sort of band I think I would have liked to be in when I was of the right age and attitude.

Vocalist Lux Interior passed away in February 2009, so it is unlikely that we will see any more output from The Cramps, unless it is demo versions or alternate takes, that sort of thing. I’ll be listening to all three of these in full again though, they are really rather better than I remember.


Songs the lord taught us: 8.2
The smell of female: 7.8
A dage with Elvis: 8.3

John Peel Radio Show 08/01/1979

Featuring session from The Damned and Fingerprintz.

J. Geils Band – Wild Man (EMI America)
Fingerprintz – Who’s Your Friend (Session)
Squeeze – Cat On A Wall (Deptford Fun City)
Spizz Oil – 6000 Crazy (Rough Trade)
Sly Dunbar And The Revolutionaries – Mr Bassie (Virgin)
Bob Dylan – Changing Of The Guards (Columbia)
Weirdos – We Got the Neutron Bomb (Dangerhouse)
Residents – Lizard Lady (Ralph)
Joe Cocker – A Whiter Shade Of Pale (Asylum)
The Damned – I’m A Burglar (Session)
Fingerprintz – Sean’s New Shoes (Session)
Johnny G – Highway Shoes (Beggars Banquet)
Medicine Head – Walkin’ Blues (Dandelion)
The Clash – All The Young Punks (CBS)
Television Personalities – Part-Time Punks (King’s Road)
The Damned – Love Song (Session)
The Shadows – Brother Noah (Black Art)
Gary Moore – Fanatical Fascists (MCA)
Chi-Pig – Ring Around The Collar (Chi Pig Records)
Fingerprintz – Nervz (Session)
Fingerprintz – Sync Unit (Session)
Dr Feelgood – Milk And Alcohol (Stiff)
Wire – Outdoor Miner (Harvest)
Edge – I’m Cold (Albion)
Mauro Pagani – La Città Aromatica (Ascolto)

John Peel Radio Show – 04/12/1979


The Clash – London Calling (CBS)
The Rentals – New York (Rental)
Outcasts – I’m In Pittsburgh [And It’s Raining] (BFD)
DNV – Death In Venice (New Pleasures)
Pinpoint – Richmond (Albion)
The Beat – Rankin’ Full Stop (2 Tone)
Shadow – Dat Soca Boat (Tackle)
The Shadows: The Rise And Fall Of Flingel Bunt (Columbia)
The Lurkers – Shadow (Beggars Banquet)
Mikey Dread – Saturday Night Style (Cruise)
Mikey Dread – Industrial Spy (LP – African Anthem (Cruise)
Original Mirrors – Could This Be Heaven? (Mercury)
Kapital Punischment – Save Your Kisses For Me (Cherry Red)
Psychedelic Furs – Pulse (Epic)
Metropak – You’re A Rebel (PAK)
Purple Hearts – Frustration (Fiction)
Roland Alphonso – Nuclear Weapon (Ska Beat)
Trainspotters – Hiring The Hall (Arista)
Simple Minds – Naked Eye (Arista)
Protex – I Can Only Dream (Polydor)
U2 – Out Of Control (CBS)
Ruefrex – Cross The Line (Good Vibrations)
General Smiley and Papa Michigan – Compliment To Studio One (Studio One)
The Vapors – Prisoners (United Artists)
Adam and the Ants – Cartrouble [Parts 1 & 2] (Do It)

Lana Del Ray sued by Radiohead

So Lana Del Ray claims she is being sued by Radiohead over the similarities between Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ and her track ‘Get Free’. Having listened to both I’d say they have a case, and I’ve never thought the Hollies ‘Air That I Breathe’ is anything more than a coincidental chord progression. ‘Get Free’ nicks the vocal melody of ‘Creep’ completely as well.

Thing is, Radiohead aren’t suing anybody:

As Radiohead’s music publisher, it’s true that we’ve been in discussions since August of last year with Lana Del Rey’s representatives. It’s clear that the verses of “Get Free” use musical elements found in the verses of “Creep” and we’ve requested that this be acknowledged in favour of all writers of “Creep.” To set the record straight, no lawsuit has been issued and Radiohead have not said they “will only accept 100%” of the publishing of “Get Free.”

It was Lana Del Rey herself who recently tweeted that Radiohead are suing, She wrote, “Although I know my song wasn’t inspired by ‘Creep,’ Radiohead feel it was and want 100% of the publishing.” We now know this to be crap, smells like a publicity stunt.




John Peel Radio Show – 06/12/79

And another John Peel show. Variable audio quality but listenable.

Featuring sessions from Misty and Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft


The Clash – Clampdown (CBS)
The Clash – Guns Of Brixton (CBS)
The Yachts – Now I’m Spoken For (Radar)
Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – Was Ist Ein Welle? (Session)
Misty – Judgement Coming On The Land (Session)
Adam and the Ants – Day I Met God (Do It)
The Beat – Tears Of A Clown (Two-Tone)
Public Image Ltd – Bad Baby (Virgin)
Preachers – Who Do You Love (BFD)
Secret Affair – New Dance (I-Spy)
Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Dance Stance (Oddball)
Mikey Dread – Comic Strip (Cruise)
Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – I And I Reality (Session)
Speedballs – Is Somebody There (No Pap)
Suicide – Dream Baby Dream (Island)
The Undertones – Billy’s Third (Sire)
The Fall – Before The Moon Falls (Step Forward)
Buzzards – British Justice (Chrysalis)
Misty – True Rasta Man (Session)
The Specials – Concrete Jungle (2Tone)
Bob Marley And The Wailers (Concrete Jungle)
Simple Minds – Carnival [Shelter In A Suitcase] (Arista)
The Raincoats – Adventures Close To Home (Rough Trade)
Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – Violence (Session)
The Passions – Oh No It’s You (Fiction)
The Skids – Working For The Yankee Dollar (Virgin)
The Pop Group – We Are All Prostitutes (Rough Trade)
Misty – Sodom And Gomorrah (Session)
Snakefinger – Here Comes The Bums (Virgin)
The Clash – Hateful (CBS)
Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – Kebab Dreams (Session)
Mekons – Dan Dare (Virgin)
Boys – See Ya Later (Safari)

John Peel Radio Show – 09/10/1979

1979, what a year to be alive for music! Another John Peel show to enjoy.

Featuring Au Pairs in session.

Stiff Little Fingers – Straw Dogs (Chrysalis)
Spizzenergi – Soldier, Soldier (Rough Trade)
999 – Found Out Too Late (Radar)
Au Pairs – Pretty Boy (Session)
The Specials – Nite Klub (2 Tone)
The Skids – Thanatos/A Day In Europa/The Olympian (Virgin)
Majesterians – Flute In Dub (Revue)
Johnny Guitar Watson – Someone Cares For Me (Red Lightnin’)
Spitfire Boys – Funtime (Impeccable)
Vice Versa – New Girls/Neutrons (Neutron)
Au Pairs – Ideal Woman (Session)
The Slits – Typical Girls (Island)
Tempo – Subway Girl (Klein)
The Undertones – Let’s Talk About Girls (Sire)
Laughing Gass – New Tart (Out Of Order/Wessex)
The Revillos – Where’s The Boy For Me? (Dindisc)
Dennis Brown – The Man Next Door (Joe Gibbs)
Homosexuals – Astral Glamour (Black Noise)
X-Certs – Anthem (Heartbeat)
Apartment – The Alternative (Heartbeat)
Numbers – Cross-Slide (Heartbeat)
Au Pairs – Monogamy (Session)
Cowboys International – Pointy Shoes (Virgin)
Fakes – Production (Deep Cuts)
Shenley Duffus – Rukumbine (Mango)
Joy Division – Shadow Play (Factory)
Out – Who Is Innocent? (Radar)
Mikey Dread – Love The Dread (Dread At The Controls)
Au Pairs – Come Again (Session)
IQ Zero – Insects (Object)

John Peel Radio Show – 14/05/1981

A show from 1981, featuring lots of lovely interesting stuff.

With sessions from New Order and Killing Joke.

Psychedelic Furs – Dumb Waiters (CBS)
Modern Eon – Child’s Play (Dindisc)
Be Bop Deluxe – Ships In The Night (Harvest Heritage)
New Order – Dreams Never End (Session)
Misty In Roots – Man Kind (People Unite)
Splodgenessabounds – Yarmouth 5-0 (Deram)
Pigbag – Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag (Y Records)
Killing Joke – Tension (Session)
The Delmontes – So It’s Not To Be (Rational)
The Method Actors – Distortion (Armageddon)
John Lee Hooker – Everybody Rockin’ (Oxford)
UB40 – Don’t Slow Down (DEP International)
New Order – Senses (Session)
Recognitions – Too Much Fiction (Ryme Time)
The Cure – Other Voices (Fiction)
Renaldo and The Loaf – Spratt’s Medium (Ralph)
Girls At Our Best – I’m Beautiful Now (Happy Birthday Records)
The Bleechers – Check Him Out (Trojan)
Killing Joke – Butcher (Session)
Magazine – About The Weather (Virgin)
The Cramps – Rockin’ Bones (I.R.S. Records)
New Order – I.C.B. (Session)
The Undertones – You’re Welcome (Ardeck)
Tarzan 5 – Boys Game (021 Records)
Talisman – Free Speech (Recreational Records)
Killing Joke – The Fall Of Because (Session)
Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – Alles Ist Gut (Virgin)
Out On Blue Six – Party Mood (Hungry Rooms)
New Order – Truth (Session)
Art Objects – What Am I Supposed To Do? (Heartbeat)

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