Liam Gallagher Releases Free download.

“Look Dad, No Tunes”

So one half of the “Brothers mono- brow” finally emerges from the car crash that was the acrimonious Oasis split with some exciting, ground breaking  new material. Or not.

Those  hoping for a  cover of  Bad Manners‘ seminal classic Lip Up Fatty” in honour of corpulent northern comic Peter Kay may find themselves somewhat disappointed.

Liam Gallagher‘s new band Beady-Eye finds him still relentlessly mining the 60’s for musical inspiration but this time around he appears to have thankfully forsaken blatant  Beatles plagiarism. Instead the mumbling, mono-browed Mancunian monkey-boy seems to favour an insipid, overproduced hotchpotch that sounds about as threatening and rock n’roll as Michael Buble Sings The Rolling Stones .”

Liam Gallagher- Beady Eye

Hmm maybe it’s not that bad**, but then again it’s not really earth shatteringly great either. One for a ‘Dad dance’ at a family wedding me thinks.

“Bring The Light” By Beady-Eye.

Should you feel the need, you can download it from the bands website here

Update**, What was I thinking ! Repeated listens have forced me to revise the statement “It’s not that bad.” Actually it is that bad,it’s very, very, very bad,  it’s lumpen sausage fingered pub rock- it’s ‘super-chronic.’

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Midweek Download -The Good Natured.

Think I’ll try and post a midweek download/song/video of the week, life permitting.

Anyway to kick things off The Good Natured has produced a wonderful cover of  Sufjan Stevens‘  ‘For the Widows in Paradise, For the Fatherless in Ypsilanti’ which you can download below.

The Good Natured – For The Widows in Paradise (Sufjan Stevens cover)

The Good Natured-Sarah McIntosh

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“Inside My Head”- Fiona Sally Miller Interview

Fiona Sally Miller Interview

“Rory” By Fiona Sally Miller.

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We all have our fears and phobias, mine it would appear,  tend to be exacerbated by shite TV shows.  The soul withering ‘X Factor’, the mind numbing ‘Big Brother’ or anything with Michael McIntyre are normally more than enough to fill me with mortal terror whilst simultaneously inducing an apoplectic episode of my, as yet undiagnosed ‘ Tourette’s’  (which, I’m sure you’ll agree, is a real f**ker.)  I’m also not the best of flyers ( I keep flapping my arms but nope, nothing!)  And when asked if  I have a phobia of air travel and flying in general, I normally respond with  ‘I’m fine with flying, it’s the whole ‘plummeting like a stone from 35,000 feet, crashing and being engulfed in a deadly inferno’  bit that tends to worry me.’  But jesting aside I’m often quite astonished at how many performers suffer from stage fright.  I mean logically, if you’re frightened of a stage, why go anywhere near it ? Surely they can be avoided? Isn’t it a bit like having a phobia of milk and then applying for the position of milkman?  Fiona Sally Miller, a young Brighton based musician, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist is one such artist who has managed to overcome her nervousness at performing in public and is now reaping the rewards.

She comes from the school of song writers who are acutely aware that ‘life can sometimes be a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.’ Like all talented song writers she is able to endure sadness and loss and turn it into something positive. Take her song ‘Rory’ for example,  she metaphorically fans the dying embers from the ashes of a relationship and manages to produce something that is beautiful and  poetic. Like Laura Marling and Cat Power she writes tender, lyrical love songs, which manage to be as enthralling as they are heartbreaking.

Fiona started out gigging in Newcastle, whilst desperately trying to conquer her stage fright, and steadily gained confidence before moving to Brighton. It was here she met guitarist and producer Matt Hodson and formed a band.  Since then they have steadily gigged around the country including the Green Man Festival and Union Chapel where their folksy infused pop centric tunes have charmed and enchanted audiences. With a début release planned for 2011, we had a chat with Fiona just before she performed on the ‘Radar’ stage at the recent NME Weekender.

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VP: How long have you been writing songs, have you had a keen interest in music from an early age?

FIONA : I guess musically it all began with the saxophone…I cut a deal with my parents that if I played the clarinet for 5 years I was allowed a saxophone. I lasted the 5 years began the saxophone and then stole my brothers guitar as soon as I could! Writing wise I was always writing poetry, my grandfather was a poet and I think that’s how I got away from some things, by writing them down.

VP:  Which artists do you most admire and why?

FIONA :  Jim O’Rourke is probably the musician I look to the most for writing and instrumentation. Radiohead and Tom Yorke have been a consistent source of admiration for me throughout my life and Paul Simon from the very start. More recently I have been listening in awe at Kaki King and her guitar playing and Bon Iver for his incredible turn of phrase.

VP:  You have apparently finished recording your album, when’s it due out and what sort of vibe can people expect from it?

FIONA : We are looking to release a mini album late February early March. Its tricky to really commit to genres when explaining how it sounds, there are plenty of layers of guitars, pianos and vocals. Some songs have a rockier, edgier sound, some are all out pop folk songs and we are hoping to have some more intimate lo fi recordings in there too. Each song has been recorded in the way in which it was crafted. Arrangements have followed in reaction to each song as an individual piece.

VP:  You’ve recently been playing on the Communion bill , how did that come about, and did you enjoy the experience ?

FIONA :  I sent a bunch of promoters a couple of songs that we had completed and somehow I guess “Rory” stuck out to Tom from the Brighton arm of the Communion fellows, and then we were booked! That gig was probably one of my favourite live experiences; we had played Meadowlands festival in the afternoon and drove straight to the Communion gig after. Really great crowd and the Communion guys had put on a really good show, super.

VP: You’re based in Brighton but apparently you started gigging in Newcastle, does that make you a closet Geordie?

FIONA : I am a southerner really, from the well known market town of Horsham?! I have lived in a few places in England, Bristol, Cornwall and Newcastle that kind of makes me an in-betweener I suppose. I moved back to Brighton to start a course in Music Production and to learn how to record my songs and also to be closer to my family and the sea of course!

VP: Let’s take one of your songs, ‘Rory’ for example and examine it under our musical microscope …What’s it all about ?

FIONA :  erm…well its actually quite a sad song. It’s about the ending of a relationship when you realise that the things that held you together are falling apart and the distance between you is growing. How someone who used to seem to make so much sense to you no longer does. Hmmmph.

VP: What’s the worst gig you’ve ever played?

FIONA : Ha! This is quite easy actually; back when I was a solo musician I was asked to play a murder ballad covers night. Now, I am terrible at covers and back in those days was still a very nervous live performer, let’s just say I had to restart “Janie’s Got A Gun” by Aerosmith three times.  All of this is embarrassing.

VP: On this blog we loathe the X Factor with a passion that borders on ‘pathological’ ? Are there any circumstances you’d consider appearing on an X-Factor style TV show other than to slap Simon Cowell‘s smug face with a cream covered kipper.

FIONA : Only if I could have backing dancers, stages outfits and sing exclusively songs from the INXS back catalogue.

VP: Which song do you most wish you’d written?

FIONA : Delgados “Pull The Wires From The Wall” or AnnePeebles, “Troubles Heartaches and Sadness”. Or maybe Jim O’Rourke “Ghost Ship In A Storm”. Cripes there are so many songs. Finally “Wichita Lineman” Aaargh I must stop.

VP: If you could describe your songs in five words, what five words would they be ?

FIONA : The insides of my head .

Links

Myspace

Website

Wallpaper


Video

“Im Gonna Miss Your Smiling At Me Like That” By Fiona Sally Miller

“Cycle Song” By Fiona Sally Miller

Something For The Weekend 5/11/2010

This week, The Horn, The Hunt, Diamond Sea, 6 Day Riot, Ringo Deathstar, Paisley And Charlie, Kid Adrift, Warpaint plus  The Manic Street Preachers and Ian McCulloch.

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THE HORN, THE HUNT-‘ Raptor’

The Horn The Hunt

‘Raptor‘ Is the first single to be taken from The Horn, The Hunt’s second album ‘DepressurJolie’  due for release in 2011 and by Jingo it’s good stuff!  Imagine if you will, Siouxsie and Liz Fraser at an electro-goth disco, it really is that good.

Raptor –Aztex Mix –Free Download.

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DIAMOND SEA– ‘Brand New’

Diamomd Sea

The Diamond Sea have just released their debut album ‘Second Move’ here’s a brand new track called, somewhat suprisingly, ‘Brand New’. I didn’t see that one coming.  If laid back meldolic guitar bands are your thing, somewhere between The Pale Saints, The Bluetones and The Spacemen 3  this might be just your thing.  However if high NRG dance music is your bag, what the devil are you doing here ???

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6 DAY RIOT

Here’s the official music promo for “Take Me” lead single from 6 DayRiot’s latest album “On This Island”.  And jolly good it its too.

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RINGO DEATHSTAR

‘Imagine Hearts’ is the opening track from their forthcoming debut album “Colour Trip”, which is out on Club AC30 in Feb 2011. So now you know.

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PAISLEY AND CHARLIE-‘Julia Misbehaves

Paisley and Charlie tell their tale of a poor little rich girl, who knows what she needs and gets what she wants. Loosely based on ‘Miss Julie’ by August Strindberg – mid-summer sex and upstairs/downstairs type indiscretions.  Brownie points for those who spot the  The Half Man Half Biscuit reference 😉

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KID ADRIFT

A4 In Ecstasy’ is the new single from Kid Adrift, to be released on November 22nd on Island Records. Inspired by Aphex Twin and “Pretty Hate Machine” era Nine Inch Nails. Below is a new remix by Distance.

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WARPAINT

I love Warpaint , just hearing their gorgeous dreamy vocals, like fragile porcelain rose petals falling onto fresh snow,  is enough to make me weep uncontrollably.  Surely the loveliest band on the planet ..  ahem, anyway here’s the first video from the bands album ‘The Fool’. … I’m welling up again.

Plus download of a great mix from Mike Laurie.

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MANIC STREET PREACHERS featuring Ian McCullochSome Kind of Nothingness

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I really thought I might like this, but alas by my  third listen it had already began to induce the sort of mind fug  that if unchecked can quickly induce a coma.  Any doubts about the tracks merits were soon reduced to rubble when a colleague asked, appearing totally serious in intent and demeanour, “is that Robbie William’s latest single.” I of course scoffed and responded rather sniffily ‘Humph, (for that was his name) it’s the Manics and Ian McCulloch, actually.” –  But now, try as I might I just can’t shake that thought from my mind or indeed ears.  The strings, the overwrought gospel choir, the chorus, close your eyes and tell me you cant picture William’s gurning anthropoidic visage?  The video’s a bit dull too, it involves two  portly, middle aged blokes wandering about looking a bit   furtive as if  the missus is about to catch them sneaking off for a late afternoon dogging session. Eventually this aimless wayfaring  results in a climactic meeting upon the steps of Liverpool’s  St. George’s Hall which has all the appearance of being nothing more exciting than an illicit drug deal, yawn.  A shame they didn’t utilise mad Mac’s voice to better effect, never has a song title been so well chosen. Saying that I rather like the Manic’s latest album “Postcards From A Young Man’. This isn’t their best effort.

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Retro Track Of The Week

‘ShorleyWall’ By Ooberman

 


The Jesus And Mary Chain- Jim Reid on BBC 6 music

The Jesus And Mary Chain : Upside Down -The Best Of

“All Things Must Pass” By The Jesus And Mary Chain

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Any new Mary Chain news in these here parts is good news and Jim Reid recently recorded an hour long special with Matt Everitt for  BBC 6 Music to discuss his life , career and the musical influences that shaped the Jesus And Mary Chain.  It’s part of the station’s ‘First Time’ series  and will be broadcast on  Sunday (7th November) at 12.00. You can listen again on-line for 7 days following broadcast. See link below.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00vsv66


Jim also features in “Upside Down”,  a documentary charting the history of Creation records, which also ties in with the release of a wonderful 2-disc retrospective-   Upside Down-The Best Of The Jesus And Mary Chain” .

We have been given exclusive permission to stream one of the tracks from compilation (see above),  a studio recording of “All Things Must Pass” originally released  on the soundtrack album for  the NBC television  show,  Heroes.  It’s also the first new song to be released by the Jesus and Mary Chain since 1998.

Other Mary Chain news?

Well last Christmas Jim adopted the mantle of an indie Val Doonican for our Christmas special and shared some of his fave tracks with us (HERE .)  And in October this year we interviewed Jim ( HERE ), with regard to the 25th Anniversary of  their classic Psychocandy album.

The delightful “God Is In The TV” webzine also asked us if we’d like to contribute to their “Touchstone Albums Of The 80’s “ series. There of course could only be one…..

Jesus and Mary Chain- ‘Psychocandy’(1985)

The Vaseline’s recent song “I Hate The 80’s’ certainly resonated with me, the eighties were for me, generally ‘shit.’ Greed, consumerism, Thatcher, ostentatious fashion, Stock Aitkin and Waterman, ozone shredding hair styles, Live Aid, Thatcher, yuppies, Thatcher, the horrific omnipresent gurning visage of Phil Collins, I could go on… Anyone who tells you it was any different wasn’t actually there. The post punk promise of the early eighties soon evaporated to make way for bands dressed up as if they’d covered themselves in super glue and ram raided a fancy dress shop. Their music wasn’t much better, producing the sort of soulless whine that would one day find its spiritual home as incidental music on a DFS commercial (alongside Martin Kemp!!) The sight of these prancing preening peacocks on TOTP’s was a spirit crushing affair; it really felt like punk had never happened and the old order wasted little time in re-establishing itself as a purveyor of all things shite.

Despite the occasional shaft of light from the likes of The Cure, the Bunnymen, the Smiths, and some fantastic Indie labels, it wasn’t until 1985 that a band emerged who put the excitement back into an increasingly flaccid music scene. Two Scottish brothers broke cover from their bedroom studio with a collection of incendiary songs and a début album that was destined to be a classic, no, no, I’m not talking about the Proclaimers , I refer to Jim and William Reid, The Jesus and Mary Chain and their seminal album ‘Psychocandy’ .

These boys were not only writers of melodious pop, but true iconoclasts who had a deep understanding of rock n roll history and it’s mythology. Taking Phil Sectors’ musical template the Reid’s beat the living shit out of it, fusing distortion with melody, brutality with tenderness. I suppose to describe an album as ‘influential’ is fatuous unless you qualify that assertion, I mean I’m sure Haircut 100 *influenced* people of no fixed musical taste, but let’s face it they were complete guff and besides it’s *who* and *what* you influence that matters. So forget the riots and violence of the Mary Chain’s early shows, that was merely a distraction, a media circus, and should not obfuscate the influence and impact ‘Psychocandy’ had. It made white noise acceptable, and it’s effect was huge and wide ranging paving the way for many bands who are now regarded as musical deities. 25 years on since its release ‘Psychocandy’ is still regarded as a defining moment in 1980’s indie guitar music and regularly appears in ‘best ever’ albums list.

If you still haven’t heard the album you really should remedy the situation forthwith, it’s a timeless album *from* the 80’s but not really *of* the 80’s . It still sounds as wonderful today as it did way back in 85, truly a classic.

AVP.


The Psychedelic Furs- Live-26th October 2010.

THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS PLAY “TALK TALK TALK” : MANCHESTER, THE RITZ, OCTOBER 26th, 2010.

The Psychedelic Furs -Live Manchester 2010

“Love My Way” By The Psychedelic Furs

Okay, minor gripe out of the way first. This isn’t really “The Psychedelic Furs” performing ‘Talk Talk Talk,’ it’s more like brothers Richard and Tim Butler with four hired hands, but allowing for that, the band gets the tone absolutely spot-on. The most significant absentees have to be guitarists John Ashton and Roger Morris, whose presence was a crucial component of the Furs’ unique approach to their music, but they ain’t here and that’s that. The current line-up make a remarkably fine job of replicating the sound.

Joining the increasingly popular vogue for dipping into your back catalogue and playing an album in its entirety, the Furs have chosen to throw in their lot with 1981’s “Talk Talk Talk”. Much has been made in the promotional blurb for this tour of it being their “breakthrough commercial album” which is somewhat unusual, given that, with the exception of the late 80s “Book Of Days“,  it fared worse in the UK charts than any of their other original albums. Its reputation as a commercial success seems to have been retrospectively enhanced by the presence of one song, the one that everybody knows, Pretty In Pink“. Along with REM’s vicious kiss-off to a spurned lover “The One I Love”, this must surely rank as the most unfortunately misconstrued indie-hit of all time. The Furs are partially to blame themselves of course, due to the over-polished, lacklustre saccharine re-recording they contributed to the film soundtrack, and subsequently the song has become associated with everything fluffy and lovely and 1980s and Molly Ringwald and… well… pink. If you take the time to listen to the lyrics, it’s a bleak gritty tale of emptiness: the heroine Caroline being a lost figure, seeking fulfilment through a series of meaningless sexual encounters with men who quite clearly couldn’t care less (“the one who insists he was first in the line is the last to remember her name”)… charming…

But such is life, and these things happen, but the main question is how will the LP stand up to the played-in-full concert treatment? The answer, in a pleasingly full, suitably slightly shabby nightclub like the Ritz, is that it stands up spectacularly well. The band nail the sound pretty much perfectly, and Richard Butler is still in fine voice. Many artists whose vocal style made great demands on them physically, just can’t take the punishment when it comes to the reformation tour circuit. It’s only to be expected as singers age that they can’t do what they did 20 or 30 years ago, but to listen to Black Francis nowadays is an embarrassment when compared to the free-flying scream that used to issue forth from him, and it’s pretty sad to hear Siouxsie attempt old Banshees numbers these days: her once untouchable soaring howl has been reduced to an open-throated low bellow, and doesn’t do the past legend any favours.

No such worries for Mr Butler on tonight’s showing though. That delicious, louche, weary cigarette-smoked rasp of been-there, done-that decadence is still in pretty much pristine condition. And he appears to be having the time of his life up there, bouncing up and down like a puppy, beaming from ear to ear, not much chat apart from the occasional “ta”, exaggerated bows and aw-shucks grin. The highlights of the LP run-through are a powerful speedy rattle of “Mr Jones”, a beautiful soaring melodic “No Tears”, nicely gritty-edged “Pretty In Pink” and the epic “All Of This And Nothing”. It’s not a lame exercise in nostalgia either; it’s a fitting treatment of a great album by one of the best bands ever to come out of the UK punk/indie scene. Listening to it all, it’s a stark reminder of just how bleak an LP it is lyrically, everything, even the gentler love songs,  seemingly tinged with bitterness, irony, regret and longing. It’s not a happy hour record, but tonight it’s a hugely enjoyable thrill to see and hear them play it.

A short interval, a few Piaf tunes over the PA, and the band reappears for a second set of “faves”. They choose to open with a fantastic version of 1980’s “Sister Europe“, slinky and hazy and late-night woozy, Butler’s Bowie-influenced androgynous stage moves all still nicely in evidence. The sax player, obviously on tonight’s evidence a fine musician, almost goes too far with the second of his solos, and nearly blows the slow burn downbeat atmosphere of the song but thankfully stays just the right side of it in the end. Some of the band’s mid-period stuff, like “Heartbeatand “Heaven” were nice enough pop singles at the time, but not in the great dark vein of their earlier work, and although they pass by as pleasant enough sing-along’s, they suffer in comparison. A nice easy take on “The Ghost In You” and “Love My Way”, fare better, Butler effortlessly hitting the “ah-hooooo” high notes in the latter tune. But there are 3 great high points to the second set: the already mentioned “Sister Europe”, a vicious “President Gas” from the “Forever Now” LP, a scathing political satire which at a couple of points sees Richard Butler drop the smile and stand motionless, a Hitler-style arm salute raised. It’s always a dangerous thing to do stuff like that in a rock n’ roll context, but somehow he gets away with it, and it is a genuinely chilling and confusing thing to see in a gig context.

However, they save the best moment of the show until the very last song. Richard goes to the back of the stage and drops to his knees in front of the drum kit. His back to the audience he raises his arms and silently clicks his fingers in time with the low, gentle instrumental hum of the long introduction to “India”, another track from their mystifyingly under-rated classic debut LP. It builds in volume and tension until it explodes into the most fantastic wild hell-for-leather bash through the song. Suddenly, he ceases to be the jovial bespectacled smiling middle-aged Richard Butler, and just for a short while he’s Butler Rep again, the bleached-out contorted onstage figure from the rear sleeve image of that first LP, barking the startling bizarre cut-up lyrics to the song: “this is stupid, I object… see the ceiling raining spit, the beach is backwards, isn’t it…” I didn’t know what the bloody hell the song was about 30 years ago, I still don’t know, and what’s more I still don’t care. Tonight it’s one of those genuinely transcendental gig moments where nothing but the power of the music matters. The hackles rise, you lose yourself in it totally. Utterly awesome. There is no way in hell they can even attempt to follow that, and I’m glad they don’t try. End of show, houselights come up, and we stagger away happily.

I’m buzzing so much I can’t resist the lure of the “Talk Talk Talk” souvenir tea mug at the merch stall on the way out. Lovely full colour LP sleeve artwork and a mere 6 quid! Well, let’s be honest, sex and drugs and rock n roll have their place, but once you’re a punk/indie/goth veteran, there’s a lot to be said for a mug of tea, a ginger biscuit, and a nice sit-down.

All round, a top evening, a blast from the past from one of the finest bands in UK indie history. Into you like a train…indeed.

Richard The Goth.

The Furry Cup

The Psychedelic Furs-Furry Cup

Video

“Pretty In Pink” Live- Manchester

And way back when ….on a show that looks like its actually from the 50’s not the 80’s…

“Sister Europe”

“We Love You”

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