Cathedral Juice, Slug Dempsey and other matters of note

Ten years since Mr Peel left us and at the same time a raft of albums have been released that I have no doubt he would be featuring were he still broadcasting.

And what better place to start…….

It should be of no surprise to anyone who is an avid collector of the work of The Fall that the latest release, gnomically titled “Live Uurop VIII-XII places in sun & winter, son”, is a mixed bag of live recordings of varying quality. It is not the first example of a release, from the most prolific of groups, which tests the fans patience with their massive output. Pieced together from various dates the material stretches way back, in terms of genesis, to 1982/3 with a reading of “Wings” complete with, for reasons which are inexplicable, some church bells ringing at the beginning, through to more recent stuff including the, as yet unreleased, “Auto (2014) Chip Replace”. There have of course, along with the addition of extra percussionist, Daren Garrett (ex Nightingales etc), been a host of new songs aired publicly since this lot was recorded so one can expect a new Fall album at some point. Having caught them recently at the Lower Kersal Social Club I get a sense that some of the new material is an improvement on recent releases, which is consistent with the sine curve of quality that goes alongside studio albums. Having recently re-read Brian Edge’s Paintwork book, and Steve Hanley’s book “The Big Midweek” it becomes increasingly clear that the group are an obsession which both gives joy and confounds in equal measure. Is it any good? Probably not, but it gets filed on the shelves with the other 100 or so CDs and will be a reference point for  work on a comprehensive Fall gigography which is currently underway and will hopefully be completed by next Spring, i’m up to 1981 and it is proving exceedingly slow progress.

THE FALL Live

Thurston Moore’s new album “The Best Day” is good in that it refers back in terms of overall sound and to some degree structure to the excellent “Murray Street” by Sonic Youth.  He has gathered a newish band around him, Steve Shelley returns on drums, and Moore seems somewhat revitalised by his new band members. On balance I think I prefer last years “Chelsea Light Moving” wherein Moore adopted a more louche Lou Reed-ish demeanour and a slighly more raw sound. However when you get down to it there is not a great deal he can do in terms of surprises, it’s all very much mapped out from probably “Sister” onwards, with the exception of his more “free jazz” experiments with the likes of Nels Cline and Walter Prati. Better I think to try and grab a copy of his work with John Moloney in Europe in 2012  (Fundamental Sunshine) which starts to explore some other avenues is a little less rock specific. On a similar line of thought I’ve been listening back to some early Glenn Branca recently, to which Moore and Lee Ranaldo were key collaborators and that sounds far more interesting, at least people were taking risks back then, aah, the folly of youth.

Thurston-Moore-The-Best-Day

I wonder what Mr Peel would have made of Staggs? I hope he would appreciated their quirky charm and obtuse approach. Their latest single “When Eartha Kitt Met Pete Tong” is their best yet mixing a left field approach to electronica with Michael T.Scott’s scabrous vocalese. The A side is the marvellous Earth Kitt which mashes up references to Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and Jagger & Richard whilst, subliminally at least, referencing the long lost Fall track “Tempo House”, The other A-side “It All Went Pete Tong” is a delightful chill wave piece with a John Barry elements which seems to cover a wide range of subjects including a failed love affair between a vegetarian and a butcher. Ridley and Scott are able to create something new and vital  with their work and I recommend them strongly to you. Their work to date can be accessed via Bandcamp and the new single will be available from German Shepherd Records as a digital download from 31st October.

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The new Half Man Half Biscuit album “Urge for Offal” is great in a familiar way. We have got used, by now, to certain Blackwell formulas in albums and there are one or two of the characteristic performances therein, “The Unfortunate Gwatkin” being a classic “Nigel narrative” that then bursts into a song, this time with the memorable and utterly catchy line “Cresta, what the fuck were we drinking?”. There’s a punkier pop feel than of late with faster tempos and slightly harsher guitar sound on a number of songs, but there are the usual forays into mutant folk/country with a dollop of Wirralese, No stone is left unturned as Nigel mercilessly lampoons any number of current trends and tropes – Midge Ure gets a bit of a battering .  His ability to distill the state of the nation in a few pithy lines is legendary and he has lost none of his biting wit and utter daftness at times – I mean who else could rhyme beige with Standard Liege and mention Gerry Gow in the same song?  And here’s a thing, there’s a point in “Baguette Dilemma for the Booker Prize Guy” where Mr Blackwell sounds uncannily like Peter Hammill, a person he has, in the past, extracted from the micturant from with some venom. I often feel that the words are generally more important than the music with HMHB albums – when they get it spot on they can marry a great tunes with great words (i’m thinking “Gubba Lookalikes” for example) and there are a couple of gems on here but mostly it’s about standard “Merseybeat” chord sequences being used to deliver Blackwell’s words. There are a couple of interesting bits including the jaunty instrumental “Theme For Something Or Other”.  Having said all that it is by far the best release for October and the album I am likely to play more than once over the coming weeks.  Always the sign of a good album I feel is not particularly warming to it on the first listening but repeated plays leads to more appreciation of the detail.

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Aural Delights Radio Show – 21st March 2012

Listen here……

1. The Neon Mile – Weight in Gold =  Four-piece indie/folk/rock band formed amongst the rubble of yesteryears whims and fancies. We are David Bowie. We are David Lynch. We are David Brent. WE are THE NEON MILE.www.facebook.com/ TheNeonMile

2. Tuxedomoon – Victims of the Dance – Desire = A classic track from one of my favourite albums

3. The Simpletone – Western Ways – Rampenny = The Simpletone are an unsigned rock band from Cambridgeshire, UK. The band was Formed in the Summer of 2009 by three friends Glenn Eastoe, Craig Seymour and Alex Aprigliano.The band was finally complete in the summer of 2010 with the addition of lead guitarist Jonny Davison. The Simpletone play a rare mixture of heavy and light melodic rock, drawing influence from many great bands of the past and present such as Black Sabbath, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Biffy Clyro, Captain Beefheart, The Smiths, Alice In Chains and The Doors to name a few. The band have played an abundance of gigs around London, Cambridge, Bedford, Huntingdon and their home town of St Neots. The Simpletone have recently been confirmed to play The Cambridge Rock Festival 2012.

4. Odoghan – Sail to the Moon = Odoghan ( Irish O´doghan)The band was born in Cordoba City – Argentina back in 2005, when Jose Visconti joins with friend and guitarist Cesar Fernandez to play some acoustic shows at the local scene. After some shows and anticipating a set of own electric songs Enrique Paglia (cesar´s cousin and former co band member) joins as the drummer and engineer for the first album (“To mars” 2009). Bassist Cesar Nocetti joins the band at last to complete the formation. The band lately released their first video-clip (“Sail to the moon” 2010) and is finishing the production of the second album to be released by the end of 2011.The band´s been influenced by “American and British alternative rock” from de last two decades, brit pop, punk rock even folk at some point. Though responding to these influences, the band´s music finds it´s own path, and develops into an honest means of genuine expression of profound and existential feelings. There´s a lot of travelling, transit, doubts, questioning and contradiction in the songs: resistance to a modernity where things questionably work or work for only a few, where man is compelled to survive and justify his existance.Facebook Link: http://www.facebook.com/odoghanfan

5. This Wicked Tongue – Isaac = A great band from Worcestor –http://www.thiswickedtongue.com

6. David Young – Generation = www.davidyoung-music.co.uk……A 15 Year Old Alternative Folk Singer/Songwriter from the Midlands.

7.  Cable35 – Saturated – an Alternative rock band based in Sheffield. Cable35 have played a number of gigs around Europe over the past couple of years playing in Liverpool and Birmingham, England in 2007, Copenhagen Denmark in 2008, Italy, Belgium and England on the Hygiene Tour in May and June 2009 and Birmingham in 2010. “Harry” accompanied by the “Harry Video”(directed and filmed by the band) was the next single to be released in 2010 followed by‘Boogie Man’ in November 2010. Cable35 toured Europe twice in 2011, Playing in Sicily, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Denmark and the UK followed by a released for their Debut Album‘Louder’ accompanied by two singles ‘Memories’and ‘Cow Head’ with music Videos you can watch on the youtube channel 

8. The Cramps – Confessions of a Psychocat – The Secret Life of the Cramps

9. ArtClassSink – Sleep –  a four piece from Oxford who are  are aiming to tour soon  – www.facebook.com/ArtClassSink

10. The Doors – Hello I Love You – The Collection

11. The Neon Mile – Close to Home

12. Half Man Half Biscuit – Lock Up Your Mountain Bikes – Look Dad No Tunes

13. Moff Skellington – Arrow – Pukes of a Hot Cloister – another track from the great new album

14. Ben Whitehead – White Lie

15. The Beta Band – Dry the Rain – The 3 EPS – this weeks Farley Fumble

 


Aural Delights Radio Show – 28th December 2011 – Albums of the Year Part 4 and other whitterings

And so here we are with the top 14 albums of the year as selected by some SCR DJs, some Fall Frenz, and myself.

The big  pressure vote from a lot of folks was for Fucked Up’s “David Comes To Life” to win but the local vote swung it toward the eventual champion, which is both adjacent to Salford and excellent.

The final top 14  is heavily biased towards the North West of England and specifically the Greater Manchester conurbation mainly due to the fact that the music is current to these parts, and that’s what our community radio station is all about. Also notable that two of the american participants in this final list played in the city this year (albeit Ripley was in his Moon Duo guise when he did it).

The year has been dominated by the neu Prog and the neu Psyche – a lot of this featured in the preceding three shows to this one – but also the main emphasis has been those musicians who can craft albums at home and produce masterpieces – whether it be time served guys who have been around as long as I have, or the new breed.  Tony Thornborough coined an appropriate phrase at the Factory Star/Blimp gig at FAC251 earlier in the year viz “Old is the new Young”  spot on – and I have to say in all honesty the most aural pleasure this year has been derived from watching musicians who have spent many years crafting their art and have reached a new creative peak.  I just enjoy seeing these guys perform great material which is considerably superior to the Elbow/Coldplay clones attempting to forge a career in the biz. I think I am going to be a little harsher in my responses to bands submitting material next year – my first response will be to direct them to the artists featured on this show…….don’t copy Garvey and Martin look around a little wider.

Wooden Shjips –  Black Smoke Rise – West (September) – the first Shjips album to get proper studio treatment and their best yet.  Everything from pyschedelia, via psychobilly through to motorik rhythms – marvellous and mesmerising music.

Vinny Peculiar –  Artrockers – Other People Like Me  (October) – In which local residents Mr Wilkes demonstrates his flair for lyricism and great tunes. Some pure pieces of poetry on this album which reflects back to an older less complicated world.

The Fall – Cosmos 7 – Ersatz GB (November) – the 29th Studio album from the bard of Prestwich and his band of travelling troubadours. This one divided opinion quite markedly and led to wailing and gnashing of teeth in some quarters contrasted with unapologetic worship in others. Would have been higher but for a seriously loud no vote from the Clifton area.

Shoshin – Here Comes My Favourite – City of  Patience (July) – I guess the rest of them will catch up on this one eventually as I appear to be the only one who likes this – but I like it lots – I think I have played every track from it. Grab it – you don’t know what you are missing! Also if you can get the link between the preceding album and this one you win a patronising pat on the back.

Moff Skellington – In the Helter Skelter  Suburb – Embers of the Rapid Eye (?) – not released as yet I don’t think  but definitely Moff’s album of 2011. The usual mix of other worldliness and DIY musical ethic which makes this artist utterly unique and rather marvellous. Many of the tracks appeared on a session on the old Reformation show.  It just makes me smile to listen to this music and wordplay within it.

Fall Fan Dave and the Lap Top Dancers – Juggernaut – Yelling Boil (March) – Dave and Ian’s second outing and rather groovy it is too. Another productive year for the duo with a new album planned for 2012. A variety of selections on this one but this track is one Dave prepared for a Reformation session.

Danny Short – Your Kingdom – You Must Not Play (November) – the second of two albums released this year by the very productive Mr Short. His best yet I think as it captures both his punk-prog-pop side as well as his more experimental leanings.

Crystal Stilts – Sycamore Tree – In Love With Oblivion (April) – a stunning second album with some stand out tracks. Described as noise pop meets ’60s psych somewhere – I think they go beyond that and have created a signature sound which is centred around Hargett’s laconic vocal delivery.

Kin – Chemistry Set – Flickering (December) – actually out in physical form in rather groovy packaging earlier in the year but just made available on Bandcamp. This was all it promised to be in the “Dot Dot Dot” ep on Invisible Girl but took the form and schema to a new place entirely. New stuff on the way from the amazing talent that is Kin. I also get a mention on the album sleeve notes along with a few others….

The Wild Swans – English Electric Lightning – The Coldest Winter In A Hundred Years (August)  Claiming to have “unfinished business,” former Teardrop Explodes keyboardist Paul Simpson returned with  Wild Swans’ first album since 1990’s Space Flower and a new super-group line-up which included the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Ricky Maymi, Echo & the Bunnymen’s Will Sergeant and Les Pattinson, and Spiritualized’s Mike Mooney, just to name a few. The chosen track is just pure magic – wonderful lyrics. The first of two Occultation releases in the top 15.

Monster Island – Pilot Whales – Cathedral Steps (November) Stephen, Lewis and Wesley are back with their third album which further develops their unique approach to music and their lyrical genius in respect of the world that surrounds us and them. Utterly wonderful. Get it from Bandcamp. Note to self – make sure we get them at a gig in Salford next year.

Half Man Half Biscuit – Somethings Rotten in the back of Iceland – 90 Bisodol (Crimond) (September) – the 12th album in the canon and they show no signs of running out of ideas – the usual Blackwell obsessions remain – footie, indie bands and obscure soap stars. There are three constants in my life – the wife, The Fall and Half Man Half Biscuit (oh and Joseph Holts Bitter – so that’s four).

Fucked Up – Queen of Hearts – David Comes To Life (June) – a “Tommy” for the I-Pad generation? Possibly – but then again so much more than that. Immense vocals, searing guitars and exceptional tunes. As mentioned above many had this as number one for the year but the jury over turned that verdict and came up with the one below.

Factory Star – Stone Tumbling Stream – Enter Castle Perilous (April) – we said this immediately it came out – Album of the Year – a bit of a bold statement given we were only four months into the year. Having seen the new line-up do the whole album in order at FAC 251 and having been somewhat blown away it was good to get hold of it and revel in its quality. Some of Martin Bramahs’ most exquisite lyrics appear on this release revealing him as a poet of some distinction, and the tunes are just as memorable. The album was recorded “live” and this works on so many levels as it captures the intensity of the experience of catching this band in the flesh.  My review of the album is still the most read blog on this site. Occultation records again demonstrating exceptional taste.

So in conclusion:

ALBUM OF THE YEAR : Factory Star – Enter Castle Perilous ; Runner-Up – Fucked Up – David Comes to Life

RECORD LABLE OF THE YEAR : Occultation ; Runner-up – Bandcamp

To listen to this show click the link

Aural Delights Radio Show – 23rd November 2011

On this show – too busy for links this week – just search for them on Facebook or Google…….

  • Andre Williams and the Goldstars – Nightclub
  • Can – Mushroom
  • Whipcord – Dread Stop Bop
  • Gnod – Tron
  • The Granite Shore – When Sleep Won’t Come
  • The Jar Family – In for a penny
  • Hedvig Mollestad Trio – Gun and the E-Kid – Shoot!
  • Pete and the Pirates – Ill  Love – Little Death
  • West Coast Sick Line – No Wife No Kids
  • Otalgia – Demi Stars
  • Crystal Stilts – Still As The Night
  • This City of Takers – This City Is A Pipe Bomb
  • Half Man Half Biscuit – All I Want for Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit
  • Half Man Half Biscuit – The Trumpton Riots

To listen click the link below

Aural Delights Radio Show 12th October

On this show….

Peter Hammill – Shingle Song – PNO GTR VOX – from a brand new double album on Fie featuring solo performances from 2010 including a gig at the Lowry Theatre which I was fortunate enough to attend – a classic piece of Hammill song-writing originally from the 1975 album “Nadir’s Big Chance”.

We Were Promised Jetpacks – Building Buildings – Medicine – the b-side of the recent single, whiich I actually prefer to the a-side. The new album “In the pit of the stomach” is impressive and I’ll be featuring it in future weeks.

The Computers – Surfin’ Bird – Rhythm Revue – another one where I prefer the b-side to the a-side – not sure about this band in general  but I do like their take on the classic “Surfin’ Bird” – originally by The Trashmen and then covered by The Ramones.

Half Man Half Biscuit – Tommy Walsh’s Eco House – 90 Bisodol (Crimond) – an album which gets better with every listen, my initial concerns about it have now disappeared, here we have Blackwell in full rant mode with the usual cultural targets getting the full force of his extremely acidic and very witty tongue.

Silent Cities – Gone Fishin’ – Dream – as featured last week, an impressive singer songwriter from Liverpool called Simon Maddison.

Audio Asylum – Pressure – Demo – another impressive Liverpool band i’ve featured before.

Down the Machine – Know Your Place – Single – north east band – they have a website with lots of info – latest vid-chip below….

Ides of Gemini – Matyrdom of the Hippolyte – The Disruption Writ – they have just signed to Neurot and will have an album out Spring 2012. This is a great track from their self released EP proving that you can do special things with this musical form.

Pale Man Made – Started in 1966 – another North East band don’t know much about them I’m afraid…..this was released on Monday on Tiny Lights Recordings

West Coast Sick Line – This Ain’t London – from Glasgow and the fertile mind of Dusty Moonan.

Tone Puppets – Ignore – it says “Full of eastern promise – and northern grit, resident band at The Lovely Job, Tone Puppets produce a fizzy, guitar fuelled indie laced sound with curious time signatures and mathy prog-outs that’s been likened to the Beta Band/Nirvana and The Doors.” Indeed.

Peter Hammill – Vision – PNO GTR VOX – another one from the great man – this was originally from his first solo album “Fools Mate” from 1971.

Van Der Graaf Generator – Scorched Earth – and to close the band that Hammill formed with a stunning track from the come-back album “Godbluff”…..

to listen click the link below

Aural Delights Radio Show – 5th October 2011

On this show :

  • Half Man Half Biscuit – Left Lyrics In The Practice Room – 90 Bisodol (Crimond)
  • Ryan Adams – Dirty Rain – Ashes & Fire
  • Audio Asylum – Into the fire – Demo Track
  • Silent Cities – All These Winds – Dream
  • Honey – Nowhere Floating – Single
  • Mike Patton – Cicatrix 11 – The Solitude of Prime Numbers
  • Bailer – Sometimes – Single
  • Firesuite – Sci-Fi Lullaby – You’re An Ocean Deep, My Brother
  • Gong – Perfect Mystery – You
  • Half Man Half Biscuit – Descent of the Stiperstones – 90 Bisodol (Crimond)
  • Bonny Prince Billy and the Phantom Family Band – Suddenly the Darkness – The Mindeater
  • Ryan Adams – Do I Wait – Ashes & Fire
  • Death In Vegas – Black Hole – Trans Love Energies
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – 4 + 20/Helpless – Deja Vu

Aural Delights Radio Show – 21st September 2011

A mixed bag of tunes on this show – pretty eclectic actually – here we go again:

  • Steamkings – L1 125 – Sleepy Music Compilation – impressive band from the excellent Sleepy Music label from Brighton
  • Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes – Hearts of Stone -Hearts of Stone – whilst there are no horns (which has horns) on this the preceding track made me think of Southside and drag out this track from the archives.
  • Richie Barron – Tahoe Boogie – Rather Have The Green Than The Blues – otherwise known as Dr Tequila,  from one of Richie’s earlier albums which he kindly shipped over some copies of from the States last week. This definately has horns!!
  • Thin White Rope – Disney Girl – Exploring the Axis – an excellent track from the first album from this great band which split in 1992. Like Steely Dan they take their name from a Bill Burroughs literary reference.
  • Blue Orchids – Disney Boys – The Flood Single – seemed somewhat sensible to follow the preceding tune with this one….
  • Half Man Half Biscuit – Arthurs Farm – ACD – having just ordered the new album, which is out on 26th September (90 Bisodol(Crimond)) , I had a compulsion to listen to this one. It’s Tommy Walsh’s Eco House by the way not Tommy Boyd as I say on the show, that’s a totally different cultural reference.
  • Sugar – If I can’t change your mind – Besides – “Copper Blue” remains to this day  one of my favourite albums – this acoustic version of a tune from the album featured on a CD Single and then turned up on the Besides compilation album.
  • Wild Swans – Chloroform – The Coldest Winter for A Hundred Years – another glorious track from one the albums of the year for me.
  • Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Cinnamon Girl – Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere – a classic album, a classic band and a classic tune. Nuff said.
  • Late Night Shopping – Late Night Shopping – Sleepy Music Compilation – have been playing this band for the last few weeks – very impressed with their off kilter look at the universe.
  • Heinous Tarts – Real Life Failer – Compilation CD provided by Chris Goodhead – a five piece from York who are reforming for a one off gig at Fibbers on 30th September – all for charity – sign up with them on Facebook for lots more information.
  • Ana Ege – Driving with no hands – Bad Blood – from the stunning new Steve Earle produced album – if you have not heard Ana before do yourself a favour and grab this album.
  • The Explorers Collective – Please Please Yourself – Single – As it says on the press release “Incendiary debut single “The Factory” gained great radio support including:The British Breakfast in Richmond Virginia USA, Spark FM 6-6 playlist & interview, Salford City Radio (that would be me!) BBC Introducing Three Counties play and Interview,  BBC Introducing Cambridge Interview and Live Session. Four permanent members The Explorer, Frazer Davidson, Mookherjee and Mr P. Paganotto + special guest poets, animators, rappers and musicians, make it their mission to combine killer hooks & wry observational wit with cutting-edge animation and leftfield imagination.” Marvellous stuff!
  • Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. – Pink Lady Lemonade Part 04 – Pink Lady Lemonade You’re From Inner Space – i’ve been wanting to play something by these extremely hirsute purveyors of Japanese psychedelia for some time and what better way to start than their probably most recorded epic and this is from their most recent release as The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. – being the fourth part of a set of versions of the tune on the CD/Vinyl release.
To listen to the show, click on the link below