A marvellous night in the company of Edwyn Collins. I’ve loved him since the earliest days of Orange Juice. He’s still wonderful. He played a great set that featured tunes from his days on Postcard, right up to this year’s album.
King Charles live at The Haunt was a joyous experience. The gig was sold out, and the crowd were supportive and up for a good time. He played the majority of his splendid debut album ‘LoveBlood’ and a smattering of new tunes. A great show and a great night.
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 Hillbillies, Arthur and that’s about it. Needless to say with a recording career that lasted well into the 1990s there plenty more to discover. This book has really inspired me to do just that.
The Kinks must be contenders for The Most Dysfunctional Pop Group Ever award. The Gallagher brothers (Oasis) could learn a few tricks from Ray and Dave Davies. A fully qualified psychiatrist would struggle to analyse the behaviour detailed in this book. When Ray Davies says “I’m Not Like Everybody Else” he’s completely serious. One story from the book gives an insight into the Davies brothers relationship: when Dave turned 50 Ray threw a party for him. As Dave was about to cut his birthday cake, Ray jumped on the table with the cake, gave a quick speech about himself, and then trampled all over the cake. Despite this sort of gesture their story is also interspersed with acts of mutual support and, somehow between them and the rest of the group, they created one of the most remarkable and enduring bodies of work. Music that, as Nick Hasted observes at the outset, evoked 1930s glamour as much as more obvious pop and rock tropes.
There are so many great insights in this book. Here’s a few examples:
* The extraordinary highs and lows that the band, and each member, endured throughout their long and eventful career. Over 40 years The Kinks left a trail of irate ex-partners, and band members driven to despair, madness and violence.
* The band’s extraordinary penchant for self-sabotage, a recurring theme is how the band manage to consistently shoot themselves in the foot at the most commercially inopportune moments - and all this despite one of the all time greatest songwriters in their midst.
* On ‘You Really Got Me’ and that iconic riff…”The completion of Dave’s primitive experiments was the fusing of the radically different brothers in a moment’s creative union, as the song’s lightning hit. Everything that was special about them began to breathe then. Ray’s art found its voice through his brother’s wild freedom.”
* The extent to which “The Village Green Preservation Society” album was equivalent to career suicide. And that the band had pretty much stopped playing live by this time.
* That Ray Davies produced Tom Robinson’s first band Cafe Society - and then, when discussing it with Nick Hasted, Ray radically rewrote the history to make himself appear far more significant and influential.
* The madly ambitious vaudeville shows the band staged in support of some of their 1970s concept albums.
If you have any interest in pop music, popular culture, the band, or you just like reading biographies, then this book will provide you with much to enjoy.
A kaleidoscopic mixture of indie, pop, gospel, funk, country, folk, dub, spoken word, hip hop and samples (I love samples) including some Portuguese F1commentary about Senna. It is one of the best things he has done since the early Beta Band stuff. Highly recommended.
Absolutely loving the new Bowie album. Chockablock with great tunes, however I keep coming back to “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”. What a song. Pop perfection that makes me wish I was still young enough to cavort down at the indie disco, because - let me tell you - this would (and does) get me grooving like the grooviest of the groovers. If you are still of an age where you can bust a few moves (as I believe the young ‘uns would say) then you owe it to all of us to get out there and do just that. Repeatedly. Remember kids, the stars are out tonight….
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 bands
- Being a roadie and driver for Billy Bragg
- Presenting the Old Grey Whistle Test (and Live Aid)
- Being a Radio 1 DJ
- Fearlessly working as an occasional travel and war correspondent in some of the most dangerous places on earth
- Breaking up with his wife and children
- Suffering a breakdown, alcohol abuse and being on the run from the police
- Recovery and re-establishing himself
It’s a great read and Andy’s passion and uncompromising opinions fill every page. For all his strong views, he comes across as one of the good guys with an incredible array of entertaining and interesting stories to recount. If you have any interest in music, the media, social history, travel, relationships, politics and foreign affairs then I’m confident you’ll enjoy this book.
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 thatdeals 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’reprobably still not there. Anyway the album, great as it is, did not full prepare for their spectacular magnificence live. Very, very good - that’s all there is to it.
Fear Of Men were the capable support. Sounds like they have a few good tunes in their locker. Pleasing if a tad unexceptional - but that could come given time and experience. Ones towatch.
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 Serafina Steer - Motion Pictures Daughter - Medicine Woodpecker Wooliams - Sparrow Damien Jurado - Maraqopa Angel Olson - Acrobat The Barr Brothers - Beggar In The Morning Belle and Sebastian - The Boy With The Arab Strap Palma Violets - Best of Friends Sigur Rós - Inní Mér Syngur Vitleysingur Horse Thief - Warrior Angel Olson - The Waiting John Murry - Penny Nails Daughter - Youth Damien Jurado - Sheets Horse Thief - Colours King Khan & The Shrines - Land Of The Freak Belle and Sebastian - Blues Are Still Blue Pokey Lafarge - Mr. Nobody Serafina Steer - GSOH The Barr Brothers - Old Mythologies Keith and Candice-Marie - The Zoo Song
End of the Road Festival 2013: The World Of Joy Mix #2
Teleman - Cristina Poliça - Dark Star David Byrne & St. Vincent - Who Jens Lekman - I Know What Love Isn’t Bo Ningen - Nichijyou Frightened Rabbit - The Modern Leper Diana Jones - If I Had A Gun Golden Fable - Always Golden Widowspeak - Perennials Evening Hymns - Dead Deer Laish - Warm The Wind Marika Hackman - Cannibal Wolf Alice - White Leather Caitlin Rose - Shanghai Cigarettes Efterklang - Hollow Mountain David Byrne & St. Vincent - Weekend In Dust Savages - Flying To Berlin Heartless Bastards - Only For You Merchandise - Time Money - The Sea PINS - Say To Me Mark Mulcahy - Hey Self Defeater Matthew E White - Big Love
End of the Road Festival 2013: The World Of Joy Mix #3
The Staves - Mexico Ethan Johns - Whip-Poor-Will Allo Darlin’ - Capricornia Dawes - When My Time Comes The Leisure Society - Dust On the Dancefloor Dinosaur Jr. - Start Choppin East India Youth - Heaven, How Long Birthday Girl - Dead Bones Cayucas - Cayucos Warpaint - Undertow Cass McCombs - The Same Thing Indians - I Am Haunted Dinosaur Jr. - Freak Scene The Staves - The Motherlode Dawes - My Way Back Home The Leisure Society - Save It for Someone Who Cares Dinosaur Jr. - The Wagon Allo Darlin’ - Dreaming Cayucas - High School Lover
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 - normally my first reaction is a bit underwhelmed and then they sneak up on me and mug me when I’m least expecting it. This one has grabbed me by the neck and wrestled me down into a warm bath of Nick Cave magic on first listen. Goddamn. He’s good isn’t he?
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, Bolan, Roxy, Alice, Mott, Suzi….
I’ve restricted myself to one track per artist otherwise it could have been all Slade, Sweet, Bowie, T.Rex and Roxy.
So I’m saying the ultimate Glam Rock song, and the one that still gives me an incredible adrenaline rush when I hear it is…
1. The Sweet “Ballroom Blitz”…..
…..which also contains one of the best intros to a song ever in the history of the world ever ever ever…..
2. T. Rex ”Metal Guru”
So there’s an argument for Ride A White Swan (too hippyish); Hot Love (probably one of the first real Glam tunes); 20th Century Boy (an all out favourite and could have been an alternative); Jeepster, and quite a few more, but Metal Guru was the moment when Marc had the world at his feet and still sums up so much that was great about Glam Rock.
3. Slade ”Cum On Feel The Noize”
There are so many great Slade tunes but this is the one that says all that is great and wonderful about Glam. I adore most of their singles though. I was tempted to go with Take Me Back ‘Ome or Coz I Luv You, but no one can argue with another magnificent intro, all together now, “Baybeeeeee, baybeeeee, bayyyyyyybeeeeeee….”
OK, gonna be here all day if I write about each one so here’s the rest of my top twenty glamtastic, Glam Slam, Glam tunes….
4. David Bowie “Starman”
5. Suzi Quatro “Can The Can”
6. Gary Glitter “Rock n Roll Pts. 1 & 2” (two versions on one single)