Edinburgh, Melbourne and Brisbane

The Nectarine No 9

Nebraska Falls (Postcard/Shake)

Fried for Blue Material (Creeping Bent)

Dave Graney ‘n The Coral Snakes 

The Mercury Years 1994-1997 (Universal)

The Go-Betweens

G stands  for Go-Betweens : Volume One 1978-1984 (Domino)

The recent news that the Sexual Objects were releasing a one item only album with the added attraction of the purchaser getting the rights to distribute it as they see fit struck me as a suitable comment on the state of the music industry.

Around the same time of catching that news my friend Bob Stow wrote me a series of e-mails to me around the subject of catching Dave Graney and Clare Moore in London during 2014. Bob’s always potent writing brought to life three gigs I had sadly had to miss.

Coincidentally towards the end of last week I had been prowling the nether regions of Amazon and I chanced upon some reasonably priced copies of two Nectarine No 9. albums I hadn’t got,  and the recent Mercury Set of Dave Graney and the Coral Snakes albums from ’94 to ’97.  Synchronicity and all that.

Add to that the recent release of part one of The Go-Betweens retrospective which apart from the thee original albums from the 1978-84 period has the early singles on vinyl and  four CDs worth of rare, unreleased material and you have on your hands a wonderful few hours of listening.

I spent a lot of the early 90s working too hard and developing a career and most of my disposable income was spent on the rather large collection of jazz  and music by The Fall which surrounds me as I type.  It was only Mr Stow, and fellow Northamptonian Mr Gibbins, that kept me up to speed with what should have been listening to in the slightly off the mainstream world of rock and pop. Three memorable recommendations from that period were The Go-Betweens “Springhill Fair”, the Nectarines “A C with three Stars” and Dave ‘n’ The Coral Snakes “The Lure of the Tropics” all of which eventually lead to the lifetime appreciation and collection of the work of Messrs Forster, McLennan, Henderson and Graney.

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With Mr Graney’s “Fearful Wiggings” fresh in my mind as one of the outstanding albums of last year I was pleased to receive my collection of albums from Amazon this week, time to bask in the heady days of the latter end of the last century and bring back some happy musical memories.

Of course I really wanted to find a copy of the Nectarines  “Guitar Thieves” or a reasonably priced copy of one of Henderson’s Win albums (£99 for the first one I thought was a tad steep) but I’ve made do with the Canadian imprint “Niagara Falls” which includes versions of most of “A C With 3 Stars” and one or two rarities including a cover of VUs “Inside of Your Heart”. The companion Nectarine disc “Fried for Blue Material” takes the more esoteric element of the debut album and builds on them to create a combination of songs, incidences and impressions. Another hidden gem in Mr Henderson’s impressive canon.

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The Dave Graney box set encompasses three crucial albums from the great man’s career between 1994-1997. The first “You Wanna Be There But You Don’t Wanna Travel” is stuffed to the gills with Graney treasures from the triumphant “Warren Oates” to the exquisite and nostalgic “There Was A Time”  and many more between. The writing. musically and lyrically on the this album is Dave at his very best. The second “The Soft ‘N’ Sexy Sound” was the one that got Dave his Aria and it’s easy to understand why. He moves from the tongue in cheek near-pop of “Apollo 69” through the soulful “I’m Not Afraid to Be Heavy” to the intense “Scorched Love Affair” to the utterly marvellous “Morrison Floorshow”.  The third album “The Devil Drives” was a strong hint of Dave’s future direction post ‘Snakes, the songs becoming less pop and more unique musical narratives, fascinating in their construction and subject matter. A remarkable collection of music.

It does beg the question why Mercury didn’t go for the whole DG & CS canon and include the outstanding “Night of the Wolverine” and the unforgettable live album “The Lure of the Tropics” – but what would I know I don’t run a record label now do I? (I’m being ironic)  A pity really having all of that in one place would have been great and they could have included the tracks from the Bonus Disc from The Soft ‘N Sexy Sound that are not on Crayfish Palace Royalty disc which forms part of the four piece box set. The set of rarities includes a raft of rare tracks including the nascent version of “Morrison Floorshow” in the form of “It’s Your Crowd That  I Hate”.

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And so to the Go-Betweens.  Now then, I have the bulk of their stuff in one form or another and it’s all marvellous,  but the recent Domino box set does allow the opportunity to hear the complete development of their early work in one place. Particularly interesting is the compact disc of earliest material from 1978/9 and the nascent sound of the song-writing duo that would build into incomparable team that delivered so many fine albums and songs.

The box set includes the first vinyl re-pressings of their first three studio albums in over thirty years (Send Me A Lullaby, Before Hollywood & Spring Hill Fair), all re-mastered from the original analogue tapes.  However it is the rarities and live sets that uncover a band developing from stripped down angular post-punkers into a fully fledged unique and incomparable band.

I can’t think of many bands or musicians who have consistently given me listening pleasure over the last forty years as much as The Go-Betweens, plus Davy Henderson and Dave Graney in their variations incarnations. They rank alongside Beefheart, Zappa, Miles and Trane, and of course The Fall as people who enriched my life.

I recommend all of these releases to you unequivocally, but then I would wouldn’t I?

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Aural Delights Radio Show – 7th March 2012

A seriously mixed bag of stuff this time round……listen here

1 The Destroyers Hole in the Universe Single
2 The Aluskas Backwater Woods Single
3 Phantom Family Halo The Fall Out When I Fall Out
4 Some Velvet Morning How to Start A Revolution Single
5 Babysun Turning Up The Love Demo
6 Carla Torgerspm Temperature Dream Thinking Bed Saint Stranger
7 Moff Skellington The Undercoat Pukes of  A Hot Cloister
8 Aphex Twin Lichen Selected Ambient Works Vol II
9 Defusion UK feat J Dowler Mooncloud Single
10 The Destroyers Where Has The Money Gone Single
11 Ben Whitehead Fragments of Me Break and Make
12 Mummy Short Arms Silcone Dream Single
13 The Nectarine No: 9 22 Blue A Sea with 3 Stars
14 Neil Young My My Hey Hey (Out of the Blue) Rust Never Sleeps
15 The Nightingales Idiot Strength Single
16 Todd Rundgrens Utopia Eternal Love Ra

Music Diary #25 – 25th January 2012 – Aural Delights Radio Show

To commence a Happy Birthday to Farley my ex-pat chum who resides in Christchurch, New Zealand and provides me with regular scoop fulls of interesting music from the other side of the planet.

Now then – yesterday proved to be very busy with a ton of new stuff coming in – so I will point out:

Stolen Mushrooms – who are from Luton and sound a little like the RHCPs but have their own style and stance, there’s also a slight smattering of Marr guitaring mixed in with a crisp afro-beat feel and the interplay is reminiscent of early Yes to some degree. If you are confused by that confusing description I suggest you give them a gander via Facebook and reach your own conclusions.

The Ascension – Macclesfields’ finest rocking beat combo are still looking for a drummer but have put together a new five track EP  “Blood Upon The Rose” which will be out shortly. Recorded in Salford and then mixed/produced by Mr Archer at 6dB studios I am advised. Doug (bass, vocals, keys) has sent me a couple of tracks over and they are rather marvellous.

– Kit B  – who don’t appear to have a Facebook page yet – have been joined by my chum Mr John Montague on the bass guitar – they are looking for a drummer as well (bit of a trend here) – and the fruits of their early collaboration have emerged with a new tune “Rock-Ola Rocket”. Both Mr Leigh and Mr Montague (ex of the very excellent Pearl Divers) are getting very close to the “three band” magnificence of Mr Dutton – one wonders if Mr Dutton will form another combo in order to maintain a reasonable gap?

– Joy Division – the 10CD/7 vinyl/download compilation “Plus Minus” appears to be excellent value for money as long as you don’t opt for the vinyl option. In terms of rescuing the planet from environmental meltdown I don’t quite see the logic of producing all the plastic and paper but I suppose it’s art. Whether you have all these already and want to splash out your cash is a moot point which I guess reflects the pricing structure. In any event the re-mastering does refresh the sound somewhat and it’s good to have all the stuff in one place on the hard drive I guess.

– Lambchop’s new album – out in three weeks – is dedicated to Vic Chesnutt. It’s called “Mr M” – i’ve always been a fan of Kurt Wagners pained lyricism and this album is packed with it – whether it is just a little bit too lacking in grit I suppose is the key issue. It’s late night music, relaxed, reflective and to some degree a little too laid back for me.

– In a similar vein – The Hello Strangers – play a laid back and utterly melodic form of bluesy Americana. The promo is pretty good on this one – “Texas country-folk, and roots rock, all tied together with lilting harmonies that only sisters can accomplish. Timeless imagery and fables accompany each song, from tales of a boggy creek bottom where a murdered man sleeps, to a Texas roadhouse with bawdy dancers and clinking beer bottles, to more poignant reflections on the loss of winter and a man gone wrong.” I was particularly struck by “Conococheague”  with it’s eerie guitar intro and insistent folky sound. I got six tracks from their “Introducing Max Schmidt” release from a couple of years back. Very impressed.

And on this evenings Aural Delights Radio show you will find the following dear listener:

The Nectarine No: 9 Holes of Corpus Christie D’un Echantillon De Marchandises EP
The Sexual Objects Here Come The Rubber Cops Cucumber
Kill Pretty Stress Demo
Hero and Leander Collider Collider EP
Ronin Benevento Fenice
The Umbilical Chords Evil Idle EP
Future Pilots Assange Future Pilots EP
Vic Godard End of the Surrey People D’un Echantillon De Marchandises EP
Kill Pretty Joey Stefano Demo
Factory Star When Sleep Won’t Come Enter Castle Perilous
50 Foot Wave Rushing With Love From The Men’s Room
The Sexual Objects Outta Place Again Cucumber
Moff Skellington Dashboard Photo Pukes of  A Hot Cloister
Kill Pretty Babes in the Wood Demo
Sandells Girl from Iphegenia Reformation Session (TFAB Remix)

You can listen to the show here