Gang Of Four "Damaged Goods" →
“Sometimes I’m thinking that I love, but I know it’s only lust…” Complete perfection. Of course. The sleeve. Fast Product. The sound. The words. The agenda. In my head it’s a companion piece to The Mekons ‘Where Were You?’ but that’s another story for another day. And all before I knew a damn thing about them, that moment when a band...
The Last Englishman: the Life of J.L. Carr by... →
“He was the Last Englishman” I first became aware of J.L. Carr having read his novel “A Month In The Country”. It is one of the best books I have ever read. It is rare that I have felt so powerfully affected by a story. In short, it’s a masterpiece, and one that I look forward to re-reading. A few days after finishing ”A Month In The Country”, I...
"Agent Zigzag" by Ben Macintyre →
This is the remarkable story of Second World War double agent Eddie Chapman. Along the way Eddie meets an extraordinary cast of characters. Here’s a couple of examples: Maskelyne who was Britain’s official illusionist (and a master-illusionist at that) who came from a long line of magicians, alchemists and astronomers. In addition to his marvellous war work he also invented the...
"Brideshead Revisited" by Evelyn Waugh →
An absorbing and sumptuous eulogy for the end of the golden age of the British aristocracy. Beautifully written and with so much to enjoy: faith and - in particular - Catholicism, duty, love, desire, grandeur, decay, memory, and tragedy. At its heart there is a beautiful and enchanting story. The various characters, right down to the most minor ones, are stunningly and credibly drawn - having...
A Month in the Country by J. L. Carr →
A gorgeous eulogy for the perfect Summer Birkin, a damaged World War One veteran, is employed to a find and restore a mural in a village church, whilst another veteran is employed to look for a grave beyond the churchyard walls. The writer looks back 58 years later, and as an old man, on his idyllic Summer of 1920. The bitter-sweet happiness the writer describes feels fragile and ephemeral which...
"Super Sad True Love Story" by Gary Shteyngart →
Some might say that it is wrong to invoke the names of Philip K Dick and Kurt Vonnegut, however I think Gary Shteyngart’s imagination, social satire and storytelling are right up there with those two iconic science fiction novelists. I’m also tempted to invoke the “M” word. Masterpiece. I have been engrossed by this book for the last few days - and have picked it up at every opportunity. The...
English writer Patrick Hamilton →
This set contains photos taken at the Patrick Hamilton installation at the University of Brighton in May 2012 - and a few other Patrick Hamilton related photos. If you never discovered the genius of Patrick Hamilton you should put that right as soon as you can.
Rick Redbeard (supported by Fake Major), Komedia,... →
A very enjoyable evening in the company of Rick Redbeard aka Rick Anthony aka the singer from The Phantom Band. I love the Phantom Band, and whilst Rick’s solo work is a world away from the diverse sonic sounds of the Phantoms it is still great - a really pleasing form of pared down, melancholy, spartan Scottish folk. The Komedia studio bar was full and the audience all seemed very...
God bless The Kinks →
The last words of this book, “After what they’ve been through to build it, they need someone to say: God bless The Kinks.” The perfect end to an absorbing and entertaining story. I love The Kinks and yet have barely scratched the surface in terms of their back catalogue. A comprehensive singles collection of the hits from the 1960s and 1970s, Village Green, Muswell...
Steve Mason - Monkey Minds In The Devil's Time →
This is great, bordering - in parts - on genius. A kaleidoscopic mixture of indie, pop, gospel, funk, country, folk, dub, spoken word, hip hop and samples (I love samples) including some Portuguese F1 commentary about Senna. It is one of the best things he has done since the early Beta Band stuff. Highly recommended.
Ian Hunter, Ropetackle Centre, Shoreham, Sussex,... →
I meticulously prepared for this gig. Partly inspired by the show, and partly inspired by BBC4, I watched my DVD of “The Ballad Of Mott The Hoople” (forty minutes longer than the version shown on BBC4 last week) which was a Xmas gift, and I gave last year’s “When I’m President” album a few listens. I’m not sure why I’d not got the album earlier...
Andy Kershaw 'No Off Switch' →
Andy Kershaw ‘No Off Switch’ A good friend of mine recommended this book to me and I devoured all 408 pages in a matter of three days. Despite not being much of a fan I really enjoyed reading this biography. Essentially the book covers: - Andy’s childhood - His time at Leeds University which was devoted to working in Ents, failing his degree and finally booking all the...
Robyn Hitchcock, Komedia, Brighton, England -... →
A supremely enjoyable evening with the legendary Robyn Hitchcock. The usual mix of surreal and witty between song banter, whimsical and wonderful songs, and a rapt audience. I could have watched him for hours - sadly an hour and a quarter flew by and then he was off, leaving a happy crowd enthusing about how bloody brilliant he is…yep, a superb lyricist and world-class tunesmith aligned...
Melody's Echo Chamber (supported by Fear of Men) @... →
Melody’s Echo Chamber is the name given to the work of Paris-based multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Melody Prochet. The Melody’s Echo Chamber album is a wonderful thing that deals in a pleasing hybrid of kraut, space-rock, dream-pop, electronica and a few other random genre labels, think wild-eyed psychedelia held together by motorik rhythms and you’re probably still not...
"Craven House" by Patrick Hamilton →
This book is a joy. Yes, Hangover Square and The Slaves Of Solitude are Patrick Hamilton’s masterpieces however this book is every bit as enjoyable. Playful, jaunty, and very sentimental, it is interesting to read Hamilton in a more positive mood - before the cynicism and darkness really took hold. Craven House was the first major novel by Patrick Hamilton and was published in 1926,...
End of the Road Festival 2013: The World Of Joy... →
I’ve been creating a series of mixes inspired by the ever wonderful End Of The Road Festival. Great music, a few samples, some effects, and a lot of love. Hope you like them… End of the Road Festival 2013: The World Of Joy Mix #1 King Khan & The Shrines - Welfare Bread John Murry - Southern Sky Sigur Rós - Gobbledigook Pokey Lafarge and the South City Three - La La Blues...
The NME Awards Tour 2013 @ the Brighton Dome on 20... →
So the NME Awards Tour rolls into town once again. As a man for whom the NME was once a highlight of my week, I retain an affection for the brand, despite not having reading it regularly for well over twenty years. The Awards tour evokes the variety bills of the 1960s. Well sort of. There’s no magicians or comedians to augment the beat combos, but the punter does get four bands on one...
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds "Push The Sky Away" →
My instant reaction to my first listen of the new Bad Seeds album is very positive. I’m not normally so keen on Nick Cave’s slower ballad-y stuff but this is so atmospheric and dark that it takes it to a whole new level. Quite claustrophobic but somehow it still feels really compelling and strangely enjoyable. I can’t remember feeling so positive about a new Nick Cave album -...
Villagers / Stealing Sheep - The Old Market, Hove... →
Stealing Sheep are three young women who trade in a wonderful psych-folk that evokes Espers, Golden Fable, and other wonderful bands of that ilk. They are part of that long and esteemed lineage that goes all the way back to Vashti Banyan and Shirley Collins and doubtless way before them too. If that’s the sort of thing that ticks some or all of your boxes then you should seek them out....
Tribute to Vic Godard & Subway Sect More messing around on Vine, whilst the Peel Session version of Subway Sect’s Watching The Devil plays in the background.
And here’s my first attempt at a Vine video….. “Hunky Mystery Man” You may have to click the speaker icon in the top right corner to hear any sound. The six second limit and lack of any editing features is a constraint that I think promotes creativity. OK, yet another technology time waste but what the heck, I like it. What’s your verdict on whether Vine will take off?...
“Repetition” by The Fall Here’s my second ever Vine video. I signed up for Vine earlier today. You may have to click the speaker icon in the top right corner to hear any sound. The six second limit and lack of any editing features is a constraint that I think promotes creativity. OK, yet another technology time waste but what the heck, I like it. What’s your verdict...
The 20 best glam-rock songs of all time →
Right, inspired by Jon Savage’s glamtastic list of the best 20 Glam Rock songs, here’s my own take on the genre. Some crossover with Mr Savage, but bear in mind he’s a good few years older than me. I have mainly included singles that I bought as awe struck 10-12 year old in the early to mid-seventies. What a time it was to develop a musical consciousness…. Bowie,...
Lou Reed "American Poet" →
I am enjoying a massive Lou Reed retrospective. It kicked off with The Gift - a Christmas gift as it happens - the “Fully Loaded” version of “Loaded” by The Velvet Underground which is a wonderfully expanded version of the original album. After exploring the delights of “Fully Loaded” I came across a load of live recordings on a website called wolfgangsvault that include some wonderful...
Irvine Welsh "Skagboys" →
Since reading ‘Trainspotting’ around the time it came out I have read and, to one degree or another, enjoyed every one of Irvine Welsh’s books. Before writing this review I had a look round at some of the other reviews and notice that this book does seem to polarise opinion, generally though most of the readers who have enjoyed previous Irvine Welsh books have enjoyed this one...
Aldrington Railway Station, Hove, East Sussex,... →
A set of photos on Flickr containing images taken in and around Aldrington Station. This is an ongoing project but one that I have been focussing on for the last week or so. There’s quite a body of different takes on the station now. Some taken with my phone others with my camera. I intend to carry this on until I stop noticing new ways to capture the magic of this place. Here’s...
End of the Road Festival 2013: The World Of Joy... →
The End of the Road Festival is held at the Larmer Tree Gardens in Dorset every year. It is a magical, inspiring and intimate festival. End of the Road 2013 takes place between 30th August and 1st September. www.endoftheroadfestival.com On 14th December 2012 the first acts were announced for the 2013 festival. Sigur Rós & Belle and Sebastian will headline, the other artists who were...
The World Of Joy Best Tracks of 2012 (Downtempo) →
The World Of Joy Best Tracks of 2012 (Downtempo) Here’s the second of The World Of Joy Best Tracks of 2012 mixes. This is the downtempo mix. I’ve already uploaded an uptempo mix. Uncharacteristically this mix has no samples - it’s just the music, the whole music, and nothing but the music. It’s been another wonderful year for new music - there were so many more tunes...
nigeyb's best 50 albums of 2012 →
Through the wonders of a splendid website called Album Of The Year, I now reveal… nigeyb’s best 50 albums of 2012 If you can’t be bothered to click nigeyb’s best 50 albums of 2012 then my favourite album of 2012 is… 1. Dexys - One Day I’m Going To Soar I’m a longtime Dexys admirer. All four albums are firm favourites. The debut is one of the most vital and...
The World Of Joy Best Tracks of 2012 (Uptempo) →
Here’s the first of The World Of Joy Best Tracks of 2012 mixes. This is the uptempo mix. There will be a downtempo mix to follow. In amongst the great music are a few of the news stories that happened during 2012 to enrich the listening experience. There are less samples than usual to try and cram in more great music. It’s been another wonderful year for new music - there...
The Human League @ Brighton Dome, Brighton - 23... →
The Human League @ Brighton Dome, Brighton - 23 November 2012 This is Nige talking, I want to tell you what I’ve found to be true… The last time I saw The Human League play live they were supporting Siouxsie and The Banshees at The Rainbow in Finsbury Park, that was in 1979. The other support band that night were Marco Pirroni’s Rema Rema (anyone else remember them?). I saw The Human...
The North Sea Scrolls →
The North Sea Scrolls is a concept album and academic lecture by Luke Haines (The Auteurs, Baader Meinhof, Black Box Recorder, and fine solo albums) and Cathal Coughlan (Microdisney, and The Fatima Mansions), and with narrations by Andrew Mueller, that presents an alternate history of England in song and spoken word. The version I bought has two versions of the album in one lovely double CD...
W Somerset Maugham "Ashenden" →
I was very impressed by this book. The first book I have read by W. Somerset Maugham. Maugham’s beautiful writing evokes the life of a spy and is based on his own spying experiences during World War 1. Through a series of interrelated short stories the reader gains an appreciation of Maugham’s spying experiences. He is insightful about those he meets, their motivations, and the...
The Pretty Things →
The Pretty Things Live - Reincarnation Does it get any better than this……? Barely controlled insanity. What was he on? Great example of early moshing footage too. The Pretty Things - Private Sorrow (French TV 19 October 1968) The second clip is wonderful too. More controlled insanity when compared with the first one but, nonetheless, completely spellbinding. I’ll be...
The World Of Joy Rides Again →
Enough already with the pleading and the begging. Yes, it has been a while but, finally, here is the next instalment. Ladies and Gentlemen it’s another cheap day return to the World Of Joy featuring the legendary musical diversity, samples, dialogue, edits, and remixes. Perhaps you thought it would never happen, but it’s true….The World Of Joy Rides Again. ...
Public Enemy @ Brighton Dome, 29th October 2012 →
PE remain a force of nature, a full metal racket, as a live act. They had the crowd rocking from the off and gave hope to fifty somethings everywhere with the intensity and energy of their set. The set list went something like this… Rebel Without a Pause 911 Is a Joke Welcome to the Terrordome Don’t Believe the Hype Bring tha Noize Show ‘Em Whatcha Got Can’t Truss...
"Remainder" by Tom McCarthy →
I knew nothing about this book when I started it. The less you know about it the better. It’s an unusual & original book - intriguing, interesting, readable, absorbing, compelling, & with a likeable narrator. Now I have finished it I am not really sure what it was all about, however I feel very positive about it. A good book that’s a puzzle to ponder. A well written and enjoyable...
Sparks @ Brighton Dome - Thursday 25th Oct 2012 →
The last time Sparks played at the Brighton Dome was on 1st October 2006. I was there. That night they played their then new album ‘Hello Young Lovers’ in its entirety, before returning to the stage for a romp through some of their best known tracks. It was wonderful. Sparks being Sparks they were not going to come back six years on and do something similar. Nope, this time out it was...
Dexys at Brighton Dome on Thursday 20th September... →
I’m a longtime Dexys admirer. All four albums are firm favourites. The debut is one of the most vital and powerful albums ever; the Celtic-soul of the second is wonderful; ‘Don’t Stand Me Down’ is full of beauty and strength; and - after a wait of almost thirty years - ‘One Day I’m Going To Soar’ is probably my favourite album of 2012, and fits right in...
Musical Treasures from The Cosmic Forest →
Blog discovery of the week is Psychemagik’s “Musical Treasures from The Cosmic Forest”. You don’t need me to tell you that anything associated with Psychemagik is guaranteed quality. This is no exception. Crate diggers of distinction. Have a gander and further enrich your musical multiverse.