Friday, 28 December 2012

Desert Island Discs 75 First Love Last Rites by the Passmore Sisters

75 First Love Last Rites by the Passmore Sisters 1988

Not sisters and no one called Passmore , I first came across the Passmore Sisterd when a 12" single of theirs features in a lucky dip bag that Jumbo records in Leeds used to run every now and then. You would buy a sealed bag of singles for a set amount and took your chance on getting a couple of gems.

I followed up going to see them at the Duchess of York in Leeds and then buying their debut and only lp.

On one hand typical indie fare but on the other hand a set of songs that would not have seen out of place on lps by bands that got a lot more success. There are echoes of the Smiths , the Housemartins , etc all of which lift this lp way above the usual indie fodder.

These next 2 tracks show the bands two sides , the dreamy Byrdsy June is in the Water and the frantic acoustic strum of Red Star Blue Heart

June is in the Water - Passmore Sisters

Red Star Blue Heart - Passmore Sisters

A shame they never got to make a second lp as the variety  and knack with a catchy tune on show here makes you think they would have only got even better.

Hunting a copy of the lp down is a bit of a challenge.

Now for something completely different here is my top 10 lps of the year

10 Tree Bursts in Snow - Admiral Fallow
Not quite as good as their debut, more of a slow burn , but full of top tunes

9 Forever So by Husky
Some lush chamber pop from New Zealand

 8 The North by Stars
A return to their Pet Shop Boys meets New Order meets the Smiths best

7 The Defenestration of St Martin by Martin Rossiter
first solo lp by Gene singer. Piano ballads of sorrow

6 Given to the Wild by the Maccabees
this seems to have been the year of guitar art pop with Django Django , AltJ , etc. This was the first and the best

5 Oh Pioneer by Duke Special
Straight forward pop songs for once , well as straight forward as Duke Special can get. The sleeve notes explaining the songs show catchy pop doesn't need to mean stupid pop

4 My Head is an Animal by Of Monsters and Men

Part Bjork , part Belle and Sebastian, part the Stars ,  but really a sound all their own . Fantastic Scandinavian pop

3 Hipsters by Deacon Blue
Just an unbelievably strong set of songs , their best since Raintown.

2 Crown and Treaty by Sweet Billy Pilgrim

Emotion and songs among the studio trickery

1 Mid Air by Paul Buchanan
Snippets  and sketches of life set to a piano and one of the best voices going

Here is a track by each best of 2012  The order is a bit out so I'm afraid you will have to play a bit of guess who is who


  1. Wow, a lot of music to research again. I've even missed a couple of your Top 10.
    So much music, so little time!

    #75 - NIK KERSHAW - To Be Frank (2002)

    A delete bin find, this album surprised me... solid back to front. An amalgam of quirky musical styles combined with wicked hooks; even mariachi music which I normally hate (Mexican ex-girlfriend 30 years ago!), but Nik makes it catchy...

    Die Laughing:
    Hello World:

  2. Hi Tim - that is a bit of a leftfield choice - I don't know Nik's work after his 80s peak so thanks for the links will check this out

  3. You are freaking me out again Tim; 'To Be Frank' was to be my next choice!!!!!!!
    Di and I listened to his new album '8' in the car today; great stuff...
    Top 10 is grand, many new albums to investigate...

  4. I definitely need to listen to this then - 2 recommends for someone I wasnt expecting on either of your lists!

  5. Passmore Sisters are new to me but I really like the clip.
    A fine top 10 .I've all but 2 of these. Sweet Billy Pilgrim and Martin Rossiter are still to be investigated.
    I thought 2012 was a real vintage year for new music. New albums from Hal and Saint Etienne after a long absence and after an even longer wait fine new music from Deacon Blue, Love and Money, Dexy's and Dodgy.
    Here's my top 10:
    10 Admiral Fallow - tree bursts in snow ( snap!)
    9 State Broadcasters - ghosts we must carry
    8 Dodgy - stand upright in a cool place
    7 Love and Money - the devils debt
    6 Deacon Blue - the hipsters
    5 Crybaby - s/t
    4 French Wives - dream of the inbetween
    3 Lightships - electric cables
    2 M. Ward - a wasteland companion
    1 The Heart Strings - flap your crazy wings
    my #75 Pulp - His'n' Hers
    I was pleasently surprised after hearing tracks from Kershaws '8' and so I'll have to give 'To be Frank' a listen

  6. Hi Phil - I think the Love and Money would have made my top 10 had it been released a couple of months earlier - a real grower and I've been playing it non stop in the car the last couple of weeks. I'll checkout the rest of yours that I've not heard
    Pulp would have been in if i allowed myself greatest hits. I bought as a download To be Frank after Tim and Trev's comments and really like it which means I'll probably now also get 8

  7. "EI8HT" has some nice MOR pop hooks, genre-hopping like "Frank" but sorely missing the smart, barbed lyrics...

  8. Good to see the Martin Rossiter album in there - he made my list too. I'll have to investigate your other selections further. (Although, lead single aside, I couldn't really get into the Maccabees album.)

  9. Hi Rol
    the martin rossiter lp kind of sneaked under the radar a bit didnt it, i guess being released so close to xmas cant have helped!

  10. 4 of these in my top 10.
    Of Mice And Men, Admiral Fallow, Deacon Blue & Paul Buchanan.
    Also loved Vigo Thieves (E.P.), Keane, Hue & Cry (because they still write the odd classic),
    I have put Muse 2nd Law as my top, great rock album.
    Probably with DB Hipsters second, as anyone that knows me this is a revelation.
    Just about to look for the Love & Money CD after such glowing reports.

  11. Hi David
    I must give the Vig Theives a listen. I wasa bit disappointed in the Hue and Cry lp , wanted somethign closer to When Stars Crash Down


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