Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Up the Posh



Bit late , but West Ham , Leeds , Forest - here we come!

Guitar Angst part 3 - Unbelievable truth



The final part of this mini series and I guess the Unbelievable Truth are more likely to tread a Bends like path than most as the lead singer is Thom Yorke's brother.


Again they can suffer from an attack of mid tempoitis that can have the songs sounding too alike. This debut lp is greater than the sum of its individual song parts.


The three piece were formed in Oxford in the early 90s. The debut lp was released on Virgin and the singles flirted with the lower reaches of the charts. Despite this they were dropped by Virgin and the 2nd lp was released on an independent label and the band split in 2000. Since then Yorke has released a solo lp (helped out by his former bandmates who are also still recording in various other projects


You can find a much more detailed history of the band in their own words here


Monday, 30 May 2011

Not another Singer Songwriter part 6 - Stephen Fretwell


Having grown up in the fens I always got a soft spot for any musician that comes out of lincolnshire (there aren't that many of them ) although Stephen Fretwell's vocals, having moved to Salford, have more of an Elbow, Cherry Ghost feel about them.

His debut lp Magpie got great reviews everywhere although he is probably best known for the fact that one of his songs in the title song to Gavin and Stacey. Magpie sold pretty well and got him the usual backing soundtracks on various US drama programmes It is a one of those subtle lps which worms its way into your mind. The songs are deceptively simple and Fretwell's understated vocals mean that the melodies take centre stage.

A second lp recorded in New York was released in 2007 (Man on the Roof) but didn't seem to get the profile of his debut. He also took time out to play bass touring with the Last Shadow Puppets. His website's latets news dates from 2009 so not sure what is currently happening.

The website which can be found here has some sample tracks and I've posted below a track from Magpie

 Lost Without You - Stephen Fretwell

You can buy Magpie here and if yo ulike Cherry Ghost or Elbow's quieter less anthemic moments then it is worth a go

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Lazy Sunday - Buzz Aldrin


Can a song ache with longing? ... I think this one does. Lazy Sunday and top of the shuffle pile this week is a track form the eventually released Bible 3rd lp Dodo (is in the band were as dead as) . It is one of the best things Boo Hewerdine has written. I love it for lots of reasons, especially the line


"I miss you like nicotine"


Saturday, 28 May 2011

Former Lead Singer - Citadels / Cormac O Caoinih

A while back I did a post here about the Irish band The Citadels, thinking I could hear echoes of Prefab Sprout's first lp Swoon. Lead singer Cormac O Caoinih took the time to drop me a line to thank me for the mention and tell me that others had mentioned Prefab Sprout although at the time the band were more into a mixture of the Gobetweens and Jazz and Blues (which I guess is where some of the quirky arrangements come from and leads to the Swoon comparison). He also generously offered to send me a copy of his solo lp which arrived last week.


The lp has a slightly more earthier, rougher feel than the Citadels lp which gives it a more intense sound that fits both the songs and Cormac's voice perfectly with Aoife Regans backing vocals providing a great contrast. There is a stronger electric guitar presence but also songs of quiet reflection What the lp does have in common with the Citadels lp is a great sense of melody and the way Cormac is happy to take a risk and move away from the verse chorus verse chorus middle eight chorus template.

I've posted the lps title track to give you a taster

If you liked the Citadels tracks posted earlier or this one then you can buy the lp direct from his website here. (as well as a copy of the Citadels lp i featured in the previous post) There is also a new lp on the way which I'll definitely be buying when it comes out

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Life of Live - Red Box

Life of Live is meant to be a chronological view of the concerts I've been to but for this post I thought I'd jump to present day. Having been quiet for 20 odd years the last year has seen Red Box re-issue two  lps , record and release a new lp and now a concert.

The whole evening was very civilised from the 8:00 start and 9:45 finish to the fact that the venue had polite bar staff, scattered seating and a carpet that didn't smell of stale beer.

Most of the songs played came form the new lp Plenty which was fine as it is such a good lp (Simon Toulson Clark the lead singer and songwriter pointed out they were too old to do fast songs anyway) The few that came from the first 2 lps were stripped of their studio trickery which meant they sounded brand new and timeless at the same time. The crowd seemed to be made up of die hard fans and the band seemed genuinely taken aback that people had made the effort on a tuesday night.

Luckily the wonders of youtube means that a few tracks are available but first a reminder of what they were like in all their youthful 80s glory



The version of Lean on Me they played was slowed right down which gave the song a chance to breathe. One thing though was that when they came on my wife did comment that the lead singer looked like Graham Norton - (which did plant a thought that took a couple of songs to shift!)

Finally I'll leave you with a track from Plenty which has the fuller band sound and strangely is number one in Poland (or maybe the strange thing is that it has not been picked up and played to death on radio 2 here.) At the end of the gig Simon did mention doing it all again but on a Saturday night and if they do keep a look out because you get the feeling they are really enjoying this second wind which makes for a great gig. 

Guitar angst part 2 - Budapest


Another band that mined the Bends and Parachutes seam was Budapest. They released a couple of lps the second of which didn't get a UK release. Too Blind to Hear is one of those lps where each songs builds on the one before it to create an overall feel and mood to the lp. If you are not in the right frame of mind the songs all sound the same. It is one of those lps where you remember the whole more than the individual tracks.


The first lp is dedicated to the original guitarist who sadly committed suicide after recording the lp.


Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Strange Covers - Streets of Philadelphia




I've posted before about how I've never really been much into Brucie, but do like a number of covers of his songs. I've already posted Thunder Road by Badly Drawn Boy and Tougher Than the Rest by Everything But the Girl and here is another one


Butcher Boy do a great job with Streets of Philadelphia, bringing out all it's haunting qualities.


Big thank you to Phil who often leaves great comments on the blog and recently sent me a couple of compilation cds which featured this track

 

Monday, 23 May 2011

Not Another Singer Songwriter part 5 - Paddy Casey


When Paddy Casey's debut lp Amen was released , the big voice , passionate lyrics and slightly shaggy hair had him compared to Mike Scott of the Waterboys (okay I made the hair bit up)


Discovered busking or playing at an open mic spot (depending on whch version you read) he was signed to Sony, which has seen him benefit from his music being featured on the usual US drama programmes, support the likes of REM and U2 as well as getting a slot on the David Letterman's late show.


He has released 3 lps Amen , Living and Addicted to Company. Despite this last one having part one in brackets after the title , there hasn't been a follow up in the last 4 years. In fact for someone who has sold a shed load of records in Ireland and tours pretty much non stop details are pretty scarce. His website is just a Sony music logo and there is a fans site although this is limited in content and doesn't even mention the 3rd lp.


Anyway I've posted 2 tracks the first is from Amen and the second is a live version of a song from Living that has that shiver down your spine quality






You can buy his lps here and if you are going to explore further I'd start with Living. Alternatively you can go to his myspace pager here for more tracks to sample

500th post - Best Supergroup ever!



Scarily this I my 500th post which was the target I set myself when I started (although I had a serious suspicion I wouldn't last beyond 10!) I always liked Lawrence of Felt's approach 10 lps 10 singles in 10 years and then split up. I really had intended to call it a day at 500. However, I'm still enjoying it especially when I get comments so I'm going to crack on and see if I can get to a 1000.


Post number 1 was a track by Paul Quinn and the Independent Groups and so it seems fitting that post 500 returns to this best of supergroups .


This time it is form the first lp , the wonderfully titled Phantoms and Archetypes. The lps features ex orange juicers , ex commotions , ex bluebells and ex aztec cameras all produced by Edwyn Collins and backing one of the best voices going.


The Damage is Done - Paul Quinn and the Independent Group

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Guitar angst part 1 - Lorien

Radiohead (before they want all abstract) and Coldplay( before they went all stadium) lead to a lot of bands who seemed to take Parachutes and combine it with the Bends as a template and produce lps of guitar angst. One of those bands were Lorien (who also added a dash of Talk Talk's Colour of Spring) Finding information about the band is hard to come by and isn't made any easier by the fact that there are about 4 other bands that share the name Lorien. Anyway this one is a trio form Iceland , Italy and .......... Weston Super Mare. Managed by Stevo (the infamous manager of Soft Cell) and produced by Mike Hedges the band debut lp Under the Waves is full of dramatic music that combines a big grandiose sound with something a bit warmer (helped by a knack for a catchy chorus) I think this is the only lp the band released (if anyone knows any better then let me know) and the 2 tracks I've posted are typical of the lps sound . It does suffer at times from being a tad one paced but the hypnotic nature of the songs as a whole more than make up for this Human Beings - Lorien

Milky Magic Tears - Lorien

You can buy Under the Waves by Lorien here

Friday, 20 May 2011

Live of Live - Martin Stephenson



I'd seen Martin Stephenson tour without his Daintees before but this was the first time with a solo lp to promote. Yogi in my House didnt make a radical departure from the last Daintees lp and live the new songs fitted right in with a mixture of the Dainties back catalogue. One of the the things that makes a Daintees concert so memorable is the stories Martin tells between songs and the banter he has with his band and the crowd. He also surrounds himself with talented musicians which inspires some great alternative extended versions of songs and the feeling that you can never be certain where a song will go next.




This time as a bit of a surprise Martin shared a stage with Paul Handyside from hurrah, so there were lots of stories about tithe early days of Kitchenware as well as some gentle piss taking about some of Hurrahs more rockist tendencies.



The bit I really remember is a version of Yogi's stand out track and realising that it must have been Paul Handyside providing the songs Italian spoken sections



Solomon - Martin Stephenson

Thursday, 19 May 2011

A Year in Books 2011 - Dark Matter


I haven't read many ghost stories and Dark Matter the first "adult" book by acclaimed children's writer Michelle Paver is most definitely a good old fashioned ghost story. The sense of dread starts with the opening prologue that takes the form of a letter that talks of death and disaster during a expedition to the artic circle The rest of the book, set in the late 30s, is told in the form of a journal written by one of the expedition members Jack. The journal starts with working class Jack desperate for change in his life and plotting his escape by applying to be the radio technician on an expedition with 3 upper class friends. In the early meetings and the first part of the journey north, the class differences and tensions start to evolve as well as Jack being drawn to the charismatic expedition leader. These early entries as important in understanding what happens later and some of the decisions that Jack makes. The tension starts to mount with the final leg of the journey a boat journey to the deserted Gruhuken where the team plan to stay over winter and be picked up the following summer. The sense of foreboding builds nicely with some ghost story staples such as the reticent sea captain with ambiguous warnings are all present and correct without falling completely into cliché. However the biggest contributor to the atmosphere is the artic landscape itself. Paver is clearly both passionate and knowledgeable about the area and uses this to great effect as she moves from a feeling of tranquillity and beauty to one of dread and malice. As the daylight hours begin to shrink one by one the team has to leave the expedition until Jack is left alone in days of 24hrs of darkness. What starts as a sense of not being alone builds and builds in Jacks mind as he struggles to keep hold of the rational. The pacing of the book is perfect as the threats that Jack perceives begin to transform from the psychological to the physical and his journals chart one man's struggle to keep hold of his sanity. The problem with ratching up the tension is that there needs to be a release and this is where things can all fall down however Paver gets it just right with a sense of poignancy and closure that fits perfectly with what has gone before It is a short,a one sitting read and is all the more effective for it as to pull away would just break the spell

Monday, 16 May 2011

Not Another Singer Songwriter - Andy Pawlak




I'm never really clear when is someone a singer songwriter and when are they a solo artist.

This week's post is a bit different in that it comes from a time pre the singer songwriter renaissance (if such a ridiculous concept holds any water). Andy Pawlak released one lp (Shoebox Full of Secrets) and a handful of singles with a polished sound that is closer Danny Wilson than David Gray.



This was an lp that I bought in the sale bin almost purely on the basis of the cover (it reminded me of Everything But the Girl's Love Not Money and Deacon Blue's Raintown). It is full of gorgeous melodies, clever lyrics and memorable songs. I always felt that if he had taken the Roddy Frame route and given himself a band name then I think he would have got a lot more exposure. I struggle to understand how he had such a low profile. The songs on the lp are certainty chart friendly whilst subtle enough to remind me of the smoother Prefab Sprout tracks as well as bands like Love and Money and the Blow Monkeys.



Listening to the lp again now the production has dated a bit but the songs still really stand out



I've posted two tracks, both made for radio but ignored by playlist compilers









He did record a second lp which was never released as it got lost in record company take overs.

It is around on the Internet but under the name Monkey with the title Low Beat Folk (or the other way round I'm never quite sure) the sound is a lot rougher and more organic than Shoebox. The wonders of blog world meant that I stumbled on a post that featured this lp (The wonderful This is Indie where as well as the Low Beat Folk lp there are also a load of Andy Pawlak b sides)


I've posted one track which gives you an idea of the comparison.


He is one of those artists that you just feel that another time and place he would have had the success he deserved


Sunday, 15 May 2011

Lazy Sunday - Gene



Lazy Sunday and top of the shuffle pile is a track from Gene's first lp. Unfairly labelled in the early days as Smiths sound alikes.


What I like about this like a lot of Gene songs it has got its delicate part and its more muscular part


Saturday, 14 May 2011

Bigger Than The Beatles - Liberty Horses



Neill MacColl is one of those great supporting artist. He was guitarist in the Bible and Boo Hewerdine's best stuff seems to involve him in some form or the other. He was in the awfully named but great band King L with Gary Clark of Danny Wilson and has played on lps by among others David Gray, Chris Difford and regularly with Eddi Reader and Kathryn Williams. Son of Ewan MacColl he seems just at home with folk and pop music giving each an element of the other (his son is keeping the family tradition going as he is a member of Bombay Bicycle Club)



For one lp though he got to play the leading man. The Liberty Horses (formed with his brother and another ex Bible Callum) released one lp Joyland. Neill hasn't got the strongest of voices but the years of singing backing vocals pays dividends as it fits the songs perfectly. It is one of those lps where the songs have a crafted feel. There isn't a stand out track but that is because the quality of all the songs is high.



Colours of Spring - Liberty Horses



XXX - Liberty Horses



You can buy Joyland from here

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Reissue Heaven - Red Box



After years of silence the last 6 months has been a hive of activity for Red Box. Firstly after a 20 year gap a 3rd lp finally appears and then Cherry Red records has re- released the 2nd lp Motive. There are a couple of extra tracks, a different mix of the only single Train plus it's b side. The b side is the one thing I hadn't heard and it is a good track (seems a bit of an anti record company dig) but can see why it didn't fit on the original release of the lp.




On the sleeve notes Simon Toulson-Clarke describes how he used his royalties from the first lp to buy a boat on which he and his wife disappeared for the next 2 years sailing around southern Europe and as aresult the lp has a bit of a theme of travelling and movement, to end with my favourite track on the lp New England and a sense of returning home




There is still an element of the various chanting and almost nursery rhyme structure that typified the first lp , but it all feels a lot lusher , helped by the extended instrumental fade outs on a number of tracks, and more serious, and a tad darker.





In house and health
Make a little bit, break a little bit
In skint and wealth
Weep a little bit, keep a little bit
In book and pen
Up another rung, down another rung
And now and then you fall
And I break to you the news
It's as bad as it seems
And so they kick and punch and scratch
And I shrink a little bit
They spread the net to catch
But I know

But that England is my home
But my heart is forever travelling
Yes that England is my home
But my heart is forever travelling
Proud that England is my home
But my heart is forever travelling

In North and South
Give a little bit, take a little bit
In keeping out
Change a little law, hate a little more
In sight and sound
Fight another war, close another door
In private ground you live
And I break to you the news
It's as bad as it seems

And if you raise your voice to shout
And I have a little bit
It's time that you got out
But no I have no doubt

But that England is my home
But my heart is forever travelling
Yes that England is my home
But my heart is forever travelling
Proud that England is my home
But my heart is forever travelling

And I break the news to you
It's as bad as it seems

So they kick, punch, scratch
Shrink a little bit
They spread the net to catch
But I know

But that England is my home
But my heart is forever travelling
Yes that England is my home
But my heart is forever travelling
Proud that England is my home
But my heart is forever travelling








You can buy Motive here and if you like polished pop that has a sense of unpredictability then I'd recommend you give it a go

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Life of Live - Kirsty MacColl

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The next person I saw live in Glasgow was Kirsty MacColl. I'd recently bought Electric Landlady but although thought it was good it was the previous lp Kite that I kept going back to as just a perfect pop record. I didn't realise at the time that she suffered from crippling stage fright and hadn't toured in years.













You couldn't tell. Apart from a couple of false starts the songs were full of energy her vocals really strong and she seemed at ease joking with the crowd.













Kirsty MacColl was one of the those songwriters who never really got the credit they deserved, known more for her backing vocals than a body of work that includes songs the equal of any of her peers on whose tracks she guested.







The track I've posted was the lead off single from Electric Landlady, title coined by Johnny Marr who at the time was her house guest. Johnny Marr co - wrote the track and plays some great guitar.






Walking Down Madison - Kirsty MacColl





You can buy Electric Landlady here









The photo featured above is of the bench in Soho Square where a dedicated fanbase meet on the anniversary of her tragic death. A fantastic songwriter and the champion of killer harmonies

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

LP of the Year - Admiral Fallow


Into May and although I've bought quite a few lps that I like nothing had really stood out. , until Boots Met My Face by Admiral Fallow came through the post box and is an early contender for lp of the year (although I think the copy I have is a re release with the lp originally released last year with a different cover)

Admiral Fallow are a Scottish 5 piece built around the singer and main songwriter Louis Abbott. It is a stunning set of crafted songs that are difficult to describe. There is a folky element that bring to mind a Mumford and Sons but with the banjo replaced with a clarinet, there are echoes of Elbow and some great sing along pop songs with girl/boy vocals , an earthier Deacon Blue. Okay I mentioned 3 bands and Admiral Fallow sound like none of them and I'm sure have very different reference points., but it is strange brew of the 3 that sprung to mind (with maybe with a twist of first lp Guillemots in there as well)

The lyrics are personal and full of quotable lines that bring a smile of recognition and more painful emotions hit right on the head.

"All of the songs document the first chapter of my life, be it memories from school or kicking a ball about with my childhood chums. All of the songs are taken from real life events. There's no fiction. I'm not into making up stories or characters for the sake of trying to stir emotions. They are songs about friends and family as well as a fair bit of self-evaluation.”

If this makes Abbott seem a little serious don't worry I mean there is a great song called Subbuteo on the lp

I've posted the opening track which is a more mid paced song than the catchy singles (3 of which have been released) and the slower closing tracks and it is the one that made me think of Elbow.

You can hear the lp here at the band's website as well as downloading another sample track. However you could skip this ans simply buy the lp here , I really don't think you'll be disappointed

Dead Against Smoking - Admiral Fallow

Monday, 9 May 2011

Not Another Singer Songwriter - Adam Masterson



Before Sashagate I used to listen to Jonathon Ross's radio show on a sat am , mainly because it used to make me laugh ( this despite the fact that he used to annoy the hell out of me on tv) but also because he used to have a pretty varied set of musical guests. It felt like he just got people in him or his producer liked the sound of.



One week they featured Adam Masterson who unlike last week's David Kitt takes a more traditional songwriting approach . He played a couple of songs live one of which is the track I've posted. There then followed a bit of inane speculation as to whether it was about Fergie by Ross, but even he realised the song was too good for that , dropped it pretty quickly and went back to saying how good he thought the lp from which it came was.


Lot's of critics agreed and One Tale Too Many came out to great reviews in 2003. It didn't sell and since then another lp was recorded but left un released. Adam Masterson seems to keep playing live pretty regularly either here or in the states but his website doesn't give any clues about this one seeing the light of day or future recordings


The songs on the debut lp have a folky edge with a bit of a Van Morrison, blessed with a voice that can switch easily between the subtle and the passionate and ,as you can tell by the title, each song feels a bit like a short story




Sarah Queen of England - Adam Masterson


you can find Adam Masterson website here where he writes a regularish blog.


You can buy One Tale Too Many very cheaply here

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Lazy Sunday - Belle and Sebastian


Lazy sunday and top of the shuffle pile this week is a track from Belle and Sebastian's latest lp. As ever a killer sense of melody with this time a warm bit of brass to hum along to

Saturday, 7 May 2011

One that Almost Got Away Part 3 - John Grant


Whereas the Mirrors were synth pop of 1982, this next lp feels like 1977. Not Clash 1977 but Fleetwood Mac 1977. John Grant used to be lead singer of the Czars. I bought an lp of theirs after reading some great reviews but couldn't really see what the fuss was about and ended up giving it away. Ironic then that I bought this as it seemed to be near the top of every publications top lps of the year chart.

Backed by Midlake the almost easy listening music and sweet vocals hide a real darkness in the lyrics shot through with gallows humour often dealing with John Grant's struggles with addiction and relationships. The track I've posted deals with growing up gay in a strongly religious home, which I think I've read has an autobiographical elements. The chorus did prompt an interesting discussion with my 9 year old when it first came on in the car!



This is probably the spikiest in terms of instrumentation with the rest a smoother "FM" sound.
It is a classic grower of an lp as new subtleties are revealed with each listen and I can see now why it featured so high on best of the year charts (it even has a song named Sigourney Weaver)


You can buy Queen of Denmark here

Friday, 6 May 2011

Life of Live forthcoming attractions - The Bible


Joy of Joys one of my favourite bands are reforming for a couple of one off (or strictly speaking two off) gigs in the Autumn

The Bible are celebrating some kind of anniversary but if I'm honest the occasion is irrelevant ,the fact they are going to play live is simply enough. I saw them a few years ago the last time they played together as a one off reunion and it was a thrill from start to finish

They are playing

Clapham Grand on the 30th sept and Glasgow ABC on the 29th September. I've got my ticked for Clapham already and if you too like jangly guitars and pretentious lyrics or want to know what Boo Hewerdine did before he became a singer songwriter then you can get tickets here

Thursday, 5 May 2011

One That Almost Got Away part 2 - The Mirrors





I bought a couple of lps recently that were released last year which is by far the only thing that they have in common, that and the fact that in their own way they are both derivative of an earlier time (in the best possible way)


For Brighton's The Mirrors it is 1982 and the use of waves of synths to add ambience. Think of a cross between Depeche Mode's Leave in Silence and New Order's Your Silent Face with a dash of Kraftwerk thrown into the mix and that pretty much sums up this debut lp. Not that there is anything wrong with this and if you are going to be inspired by a couple of songs you could do a lot worse.


The lp somehow manages to sound fresh and dated at the same time. The lyrics are suitably pretentious to the extent that they either have their tongue a little bit in their cheek or they take themselves very seriously indeed.


The songs are good although a bit like Northern Picture Library (who chose the Smiths as their template) there isn't enough light and shade so that a number begin to merge into one.


I've posted the lead off and best track from the lp which is the one that really reminded me of a Peter Hookless New Order





If you want something to keep you going until the new Human League lp then you can buy Lights and Offerings here

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

A Year in Books 2011 - Something to Tell You


I loved Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi and I've enjoyed pretty much everything he has written since. Having said that I don't think anything has hit the heights of his debut novel and there was a few too many books about middle aged men having some form a sexual crisis, normally with someone a lot younger and usually involving the painful break up of a a marriage or two. He also has a tendency for one of my biggest irritations in literature, writers making the main character a writer, writing about the writing process, or worst of all both.

Therefore it was with a big relief when I started "Something To Tell You" and the main character Jamal is a psychotherapist and some of the most interesting bits of the book come from the reasons Jamal came to the profession and his parcels of knowledge that Jamal drops throughout his narrative. As ever none of the relationships are stable or straightforward but with an older narrator ., the complexity and variety make a much more interesting read than the guilt and angst of a man in his 40s having an affair.

Hanif Kureishi has always been good at the cast of supporting characters and Something to Tell You is no exception. From the Asian gay pop star and Jamal's best friend Henry, the aged successful theatre director enjoying a new lease of life to the energy and unpredictability of Jamal's sister and his adolescent confusions of his son, each character is given time and space to breathe and come alive.

The plot hinges on an event that happens in Jamal's teenage years involving the father of his then love of his life. Jamal tells his story leading up to the event and then years later when people from his past reappear. The passages set in the past as the location switches between London and for a short period Pakistan work just as well as the here and now. Around this event the various relationships play out and the central theme of responsibility for our actions comes through. As ever with Kureishi there is more than a streak of selfishness that runs through Jamal (this adds to the impression that much as I like his books I dont think I'd like him as a friend) however part of the joy of this novel is Jamal and a majority of the other characters are just simply a lot more likeable (weaknesses and all) than a lot of other characters that have graced Kureishi's pages.


Although the event drives the plot along, there is so much more going on with a messiness that reflects how we age and our wants and desires evolve and change. Jamal experiences this when he meets again the love of his life and Henry through his relationship

As ever the book is shot through with a mixture of spot on observations and wry sense of humour, that if not laugh out loud did have me smiling on the tube. The book ends on a bit of an all's well that ends well which gives a real sense of hope and satisfaction and a bit of a warm fuzzy feeling
You can buy Something to Tell you here

Monday, 2 May 2011

Not Another Singer Songwriter part 3 - David Kitt




When David Gray's White Ladder sold loads , two types of singer songwriters seemed to follow in its wake. The first were the more traditional acoustic guitar and angst lyrics type and then there was the second type like David Kitt. They took the template of Babylon and took it further by making the most of electronic beats and ambient samples (still with angst lyrics though.)

Dubliner David Kitt has released six lps plus a compilation of tracks that didn't make the final cut of the lps. His second lp The Big Romance sold loads in Ireland and saw him asked by David Bowie to perform at his curated Meltdown.

It is one of those lps that you have to be in the right mood for. Sometimes I listen to it and think not as good as I remembered, weak voice , meandering songs and wishy washy instrumentation. Other times I think why don't I play this more often, dreamy pop , heartfelt lyrics and songs given time to breathe.

Best listened to on a warm day while reading a good book

You can buy his lps direct from his website here


Sunday, 1 May 2011

Lazy Sunday - Pele









Lazy Sunday and top of the shuffle pile is a track from the "lost" 3rd lp by could have been contenders Pele. What do I like about it , well it's a top bit of scouse soul



Happy mayday and happy 40 something birthday to me!



Marvellous Marvin Gaye