Absolute Bowie return to Komedia performing all the classic Bowie songs from the Ziggy Stardust and The Thin White Duke eras.
Support from the country’s favourite T.Rex tribute Too Rex, playing all the classic Marc Bolan hits. Plus DJs playing 70s tunes.
I must confess I’m a bit conflicted about tribute bands. I generally prefer to look forward and enjoy new music rather than wallow in nostalgia. That said, David Bowie and T.Rex soundtracked my youth. I bought all the T.Rex singles as they came out and loved them as a child. As I started to buy LPs I got more and more into Bowie. I was a confirmed Bowie freak as a teenager in an era when, in my world, you knew someone was alright if they were into Bowie, Roxy, Iggy, Bolan & The Velvets. It was a simpler time believe me. When I heard about a Bowie night in Soho I was there like a shot. This was a tiny club called Billys - in Meard Street, Soho - and was the birth of what eventually became known as the New Romantics. I’m poised to celebrate 50 years on planet Earth, it’s also Xmas, so it all felt right to get along and, ahem, wallow in a bit of nostalgia and the upshot was…
…I had a great time. Dancing pretty much non stop. Too Rex are good (though not as good as T.Rex tribute rivals TRextasy) and played a short, crowd pleasing sets of my T.Rex faves. Hot Love predictably had the Komedia rocking.
Absolute Bowie played two sets. A Ziggy era set and an eighties era set (that included Rebel Rebel, through Young Americans, China Girl, “Heroes”, Boys Keep Swinging, Let’s Dance - and rather bizarrely Under Pressure (which I wonder if Bowie has ever played live)). I was very impressed. The bloke who does Bowie really does a good impersonation and the band were right on the money.
The crowd were a totally unpretentious bunch of (predominantly) 40 and 50 somethings who all seemed to have a wonderful time. I certainly did.
The greatest mix in the world for the greatest rock n roll band in the world.
Yes, this is my tribute to The Rolling Stones, a one hour mix that contains Rolling Stones’ cover versions, remixes, re-edits, live recordings, bootlegs and samples - primarily from their 60s and 70s golden age.
It has been a real labour of love, and I’ve tried to encapsulate their magic, their satanic majesty, their influences, and the way their own influence continues to reverberate from the 1960s and through into the 21st century. I hope you like it.
As someone who grew up buying singles I still constantly search for that manic pop thrill. Anyway I’ve been sucking a thoughtful tooth and thinking about 2011 in terms of tunes and I’m saying this has been a great year for new music. Here’s an unabridged list of my favourite tunes of 2011.
I love that my long-term heroes (yes, that’s you The Fall, Wire, Magazine, Luke Haines, Tom Waits, and Half Man Half Biscuit) are still making vital, lovely, wonderful tunes that can still grab me by the throat, shake me around, and make me oh so glad to be alive and grateful that I am still so in thrall to this glorious noise that we call music.
I remember, as a kid in the 70s, being told by my Mum that I was just wasting my money as I went to the record shop (ask your parents kids) to buy the latest Bowie or T.Rex 45 rpm single (ask your parents again kids). Mum, you got that one wrong. Here am I poised to turn 50 and it’s still the most important thing in my life (obviously I’m discounting my lovely family and friends in that analysis).
Anyway, getting back on track, these days there’s so much new stuff to try and hear but, it’s worth it, as there are still so many nuggets out there. Still some great mainstream pop tunes (hello Adele), and this despite the modern curse that is X F**t*r and the formulaic cynical pop tunes that result from it. Fortunately I can shut most of that codswallop out and concentrate on the good stuff. And what a lot there’s been eh?
The Black Keys (who aren’t so new I know) came out of nowhere towards the end of 2011 to make the monumental ‘Lonely Boy’ which could have been made pretty much anytime since 1970 but who cares, it’s magnificent.
Then there’s those great folky artists working away on the periphery, like The Felice Brothers (how great, how weird and how wonderful is ‘Fire At The Pagent’?) and Bill Callahan who gets better and better. ’America!’ is superb.
Then there’s what I’d broadly label dance-pop. The Rapture continue DFA’s amazing heritage and tradition. And Hot Chip’s Joe Godard made my favourite dance tune of the year.
Music is still getting bent out of shape by the likes of Suuns (and many, many, many more). I saw Suuns earlier this year and I’d say it was probably my gig of the year. Their album is stunning.
Rock n Roll still lives on too. I’ve mentioned The Black Keys but what about Yuck? I love Get Away. Mainly because it reminds me so much of Dinosaur Jr. But genius steals. Or something. And what about The Walkmen eh? Not sure why they don’t appear to get more recognition.
And pure pop-wise, Cults (who were the most disappointing live band I saw this year) are great on record (ask your parents yet again kids). When that post-Spector sound is done well it’s still sublime.
EDIT: Just mixed up my top 20 into a handy downloadable mix. Yep all 20 tracks in one gloriously gorgeous mixed up mess. I’ve thrown in a few effects, and generally dicked around, to make it a bit more idiosyncratic. So, have a listen and revel in some of the best tunes of 2011….
First impressions of the new album by The Black Keys are very positive. The opening three track salvo of - Lonely Boy - Dead and Gone - Gold On The Ceiling - left me breathless. It’s a singalong, punch the air in delight way to kick off the new record.
Glam slam, thank you ma’am.
Things ease of for track four - Little Black Submarines - or so it appears, but then halfway through even this more low key ballad explodes into a rocky beast of a tune.
And so it goes on - a 39 minute adrenaline rush of a record that harks back to my dirty, garage-blues favourites. Right now I love it, however…
….I’m a bit wary of this kind of record. The immediacy and accessibility might mean its charms are fleeting and I’ll be bored of it by Christmas.
That said, for now at least if feels like a breath of fresh air.
They’re each one long track. Personally, and for all kinds of reasons, I prefer to have them chopped up into the individual tracks so here’s links to a version that splits all the tracks - all tagged and ready to play on your iPod or whatever. Or you could burn a lovely CD of each mix. It’s up to you.
I was inspired by the amazing 'We Know Where The Time Goes' mix by The FLK. If you haven’t heard it then you should. It’s essential. The bastard love child of Cecil Sharp House and The KLF’s ‘Chill Out’.
Anyway, I basically chopped up ‘We Know Where The Time Goes’; added in a selection of my favourite folk, and folk-tinged, tunes; and mixed it all up into a heady folk brew.