Tuesday, November 29, 2016

HOT TIP- Blackash @ The Sensateria

Currently creating more of a buzz than a bucket full of boozed up bees Brum's Blackash beguile (that's it, I've run out of b's) The Sensateria on December 10th. Before that the good people at Swordfish Records release Blackash's debut 4-track EP on swanky limited edition coloured vinyl and judging by the title track it's going to be a bit of a bloody belter.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

(Church of) Elvis! Live at Sunday Xpress!

Yes this week sees another Sunday Xpress with a typically bostin line up including Church of Elvis and The Nature Centre. As usual there are open mic slots from 4pm so who knows what other delights will be on offer, maybe the real Elvis? Pretty sure he lives off the Hagley Road you know, shares a flat with Hendrix. Anyway, once again it's all ruddy FREE too! Here's a little Church of Elvis to get you in the mood, altogether now, "Threepandofbananasapandtodaynaw".

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Dragging me down...Craig Gill RIP

At the risk of this blog turning into nothing other than obituaries today The Inspiral Carpets announced the sad passing of their drummer Craig Gill at just 44 (44!). I've always had a bit of a soft spot for the Inspirals. In my humble opinion they deserved far more kudos for their run of classic singles than they've been given, and Craig was, as the band stated today, the beating heart of it all perhaps most noticeably on their collaboration with Mark E. Smith but also on the appropriately titled (given the mounting musical losses this year) Dragging Me Down.

One more? Oh go on then...

Monday, November 21, 2016

Sharon Jones RIP

I've been writing this blog for over a decade now and simply can't remember a year when so many musical greats, big or small (fame wise that is), have passed away. In less than 12 months we've now lost...deep breath...Lemmy, Bowie, Black (aka Colin Vearncombe), Prince, George Martin, Scotty Moore (Elvis' guitarist), Bernie Worrell (Parliament/Funkadelic keyboard maestro), Prince Buster, Dave Swarbrick, Pete Burns, Leonard Cohen, Billy Paul (singer of Me and Mrs Jones), Keith Emerson, Maurice White (Earth Wind and Fire), Glenn Frey (The Eagles) and now Sharon Jones, the godmother of the early noughties soul revival. If you've ever been fortunate enough to have seen Sharon and the Dap-Kings live you'll know just what a loss this latest passing is. Despite not finding fame until she hit her forties I've yet to see a performer who put quite so much energy, passion and, yes, SOUL into a performance (as the above clip, also featuring a little bonus appearance from Prince, clearly shows) and even after being diagnosed with cancer she continued playing whenever she could, even if that was in the hospital wards where she was receiving treatment.

RIP Miss Jones. x

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Baron's Lucky Dip # 4...I think

After a gap of several months it's time for another dip into one of the many dusty boxes of vinyl that represent 30 odd years of record collecting. This time I pulled out an old Indie Top 20 compilation album from the heady days of 1990. It's stuffed full of such classics as James' Come Home, The Inspiral Carpets' Move and Depeche Mode's Personal Jesus plus some perhaps forgotten gems like the KLF's Kylie Said to Jason and A Guy Called Gerald's Hot Lemonade.

Of course it's always tempting to look back with rose coloured spectacles at the past (especially at a time you were a fresh faced 20 years old rather than a slightly grizzled 46 year old with tinnitus and a bad back). Thankfully I'm not one of those boring old fuckers who think that there's noting worth listening to these days...not yet anyway...but there's a certain naive charm to a lot of older indie stuff that's perhaps been lost in a world that - as far as 'mainstream' music's concerned at least - is pretty much controlled by a handful of media giants. Anyway, enough of that, there are plenty of other middle aged men bemoaning the state of the music biz right now, pour yourself some...er...hot lemonade and trance out to A Guy Called Gerald.

PS: Given that A Guy Called Gerald's big hits were over a quarter of a century ago now it's entirely possible that anyone under the age of 30 might just be unaware of his seminal Voodoo Ray too. Let's remedy that eh?

PPS: Yes kids, this is what your parents/grandparents (delete as applicable) were dancing to in 1989.

PPPS: Even I could manage to throw some shapes to this one.

PPPPS: No I'm not going to show you.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Goodnight Lenin - Desire

What's better than an ace new track from Goodnight Lenin? An ace new track from Goodnight Lenin with a video featuring Tom Peel. Both are utterly brill, the track's a Springsteen meets Killing Joke banger and the vid sees the lovely Mr Peel do his very best to burst pretty much every blood vessel in his body. What's not to love eh? Desire's out digitally on November 21st on Static Caravan!

Friday, November 11, 2016

AKA George - Stone Cold Classic

From something/someone old (RIP Leonard Cohen) to something new, the latest track from the ridiculously talented George Barnett now seemingly trading as AKA George. This one's a complete and utter banger from start to finish, as funky as James Brown's boxer shorts but fresher than a November breeze right up your nether regions (I'm all about the groin area today...no idea why...must be my age). Anyway, play it loud, play it often and if you're feeling brave leap about like George in the vid (Disclaimer: Any broken bones/windows/items of furniture are entirely your fault).

Cohen, Cohen, gone...

Well 2016 claims another musical legend, this time it's the Godfather of Gloom himself Mr Leonard Cohen. As with Prince and Bowie I count myself extremely lucky to have seen him perform live, in this case a few years back at the Big Chill Festival. Then a mere whippersnapper in his 70s he seemed remarkably fit, playing for almost three hours and even performing a rather nifty and surprising little dance routine towards the end of the show.

For a man who reluctantly became a singer to earn a few more bucks after realising his career as a poet was never going to pay the bills he seemed remarkably well suited to it all becoming the soundtrack to a billion bedsit dreamers. Having earned all those bucks he chucked it in to become a Buddhist monk for a few years. Somewhat ironically whilst learning how to live without material possessions his manager Kelley Lynch stole all his money and he was left pretty much centless which no doubt inspired his comeback and activity over the past few years. As a committed Buddhist hopefully he'll have been reincarnated by now, although it's unlikely the new version will have quite the same impact as the old.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Soft Hair...hard sell

Squiffy? Wobbly? Oddly jobbly? Nope, I can't find a word or words to describe Soft Hair, the slow burning hook up between Kiwi psych pop space cadet Conan Mockasin and Late of the Pier's Sam Dust, either. Somewhat remarkably the videos for their recent singles Lying Has To Stop and In Love manage to out weird the songs too, which let's face it must take some doing. If you're not familiar with the lovely Mr Mockasin by the way please do check out Forever Dolphin Love, ideally after ingesting your own body weight in magic mushrooms.

And while we're at it here's a little Numan-esque pop gem from the late Late Of The Pier too.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Artificial Pleasure - I'll Make It Worth Your While

I bought NME for years, pretty much every week from the late 80s through to the early noughties by which time it was well past it's prime having gone from a serious music paper to a 'glossy' jack of all trades desperately trying to cling onto its rapidly dwindling readership. Plus it was about £2.50 a week and took roughly 10 minutes to read. Occasionally I'd pick up a copy in WH Smiths and skip through it but that was that until it went free earlier this year. Since then I've become a regular reader again and although it's still a pretty light read there's something comfortingly familiar and old school about it. It also occasionally turns me on (not literally...I'm more of a Tweed Monthly kind of chap) to the odd new band or two and this week's pick is a London trio called Artificial Pleasure. As the good folk at NME (and many others on You Tube) have pointed out their debut single sounds like the ruddy lovechild of Bowie and Talking Heads which is pretty much all the recommendation you need isn't it eh?