Thursday, 28 February 2013

Desert island Discs 44 Wilder by Teardrop Explodes


44 Wilder by Teardrop Explodes 1981

Another one that was ever in the bargain bin of Spalding's Boots. At 14 years old I wanted to be Julian Cope , having read his excellent autobiography Head on , I'd have lasted a day at the most.

It was during this period that on one hand Julian Cope was all over Smash Hits answering what his favourite colour of socks were and on the other he was living a life of total on the road debauchery including not removing a pair of leather trousers for the whole duration of a lengthy tour.

Its an odd clash of styles , bouncy brass married to slow mood pieces , wrapped up in poppy psychedelia.

The lyrics with full of great quotable phrases but added all together their meaning only clear in the mind of Cope. I'd no idea what he was on about but loved his turn of phrase - "we talked for hours except for the fainting"

First single was a minor hit. Watch this clip for some of the worst dancing with a bass guitar you will ever see , a guitarist in a strange woollen smock and a brass section who have stumbled in from BBC 2s big band night.


I did read somewhere that this was written to piss off Ian McCulloch as Julian Cope was going out with his sister at the time , a match I guess Mac didn't approve of!

The next single stiffed, I'm not sure the Joseph from the school nativity outfit contributed to this or not


This is one of those lp which I freely admit probably isn't that much good. Julian Cope's voice clings to the slippery tunes' surfaces just about holding on and the brass , keyboards , funky bass mix hasn't dated well. It also holds the world record for the most amount of ba ba ba das.

It is on the chart for its time and place and because at that time and place I played it continually for an age, trying to build my own culture bunker

Typical Julian Cope is this performance of one of the best pop tunes on the lp that descends into the ramblings of someone who was more and more inhabiting his own planet



The two highlights were the stunningly fragile Tiny Children (strange choice for 3rd single that despite being Mike Read 275 and 285's single of the week stalled outside the top 40) and the epic Great Dominions , both of which makes you wonder at the state of Cope's mind but back then seemed immensely wise

Tiny Children - Teardrop Explodes

Great Dominions - Teardrop Explodes

You can buy the beautifully shambolic gem that is Wilder here

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Desert Island Discs 45 Viva Hate by Morrissey


45 Viva Hate by Morrissey 1988


I think the Smiths broke up at their absolute peak but in doing so Morrissey let go a once in a lifetime partnership.

Viva Hate came out when arguably Morrissey was at his highest profile, simply in terms of everyone watching what he would do next and thinking it would answer the question of whether the greatness of the Smiths song writing was more Morrissey than Marr or Marr than Morrissey. I guess the answer was a bit of both.

Before he surrounded himself with people less talented than himself , he replaced one great guitarist with another , Vini Reilly of the Duritti Column. His smartest move was to keep on board later day Smiths producer Stephen Street but this time as co writer as well as producer.

The result is an lp that I think captures Morrissey's voice at its best. The work of Street and Reilly (who did a lot of the arrangements) produces a  crisp sound that sparkles. Even the fuzzy guitar of the opening single has a sharpness about it



The lp doesn't start that way. Crashing drums and wailing guitar provide a sound scape of pure jealousy. The subject matter of other songs swing from potentially autobiographical to portraits of minor characters be it the forgotten child star of Little Man What Now or the Bengali in platforms.

As ever with Morrissey's lyrics half the fun is spotting the influences. Second single pulled on the mood of Betjeman's Slough and its Come friendly bombs invitation , all backed by a wall of sound with some soaring strings



Reilly , Street and Morrissey have at one point fallen out over who wrote what and song writing credits (all the more sadder considering Vini Reilly's current situation). It is shame that this combination wasn't allowed to flourish as although Morrissey has touched other great heights he hasn't produced a more consistent lp since.

The only track that doesn't really work is the final Margaret on the Guillotine. No matter how good the sentiment is feels an almost pastiche of his former band

The heart of the lp is the 7+ min of Last Night, Maudlin Street. I've read somewhere it is autobiographical but with Morrissey who knows.

This is one of those songs that if you don't like Morrissey it probably highlights all the reason why. For me though it has all that is great about him , great lyrics full of surprising turns of phrase , a wicked sense of humour but awash with melancholy. A vocal that is either a whine or soars with emotion depending on your point of view .. I love it

Late Night , Maudlin Street- Morrissey

A re release has recently come out (kind of  a Morrissey director's cut) with the above track edited down with the lengthy fade removed and therefore reducing the power of the track , one track omitted and  an inferior one included. Also for some reason a change of type face (a change for the worse) . Stick to the original which you can get here

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Desert Island Discs 46 Flat Earth by Thomas Dolby


46 Flat Earth by Thomas Dolby 1984

The worst thing on Thomas Dolby's second lp is the track he had written for Michael Jackson who rejected it


It sticks out like a sore thumb slapped too hard on bass guitar.

I'm not sure what the buying policy was for my local Boots but whoever was responsible obviously had high hopes for this lp as they had bought loads. As a result it featured in their bargain bin for years afterwards.

I always though Thomas Dolby had done himself no good with the boffin like image he seemed to cultivate, having Magnus Pike on an early single certainly hadn't helped (Ive read that Dr Magnus Pike seemed to be a bit miffed that in the states he was better known for his appearance on She Blinded me with Science ,  the worst thing on his debut lp , than his scientific disciplines)

What I love about this lp is its sense of texture and layers. Be it the Russian dialogue and clicking typewriters in Dissidents , the sounds of insects in Mulu or the creaking ropes in Flat Earth.

Behind all that texture song structures that seem to go back to a much earlier age . Most obviously in the almost straight playing of I Scare Myself





 but listen to the verses below and imagine them played only on a piano in a 1940's bar 



The lp has two of my favourite pieces of music , first up here is a live version of the title track , that misses the gorgeous "hold me, believe me" harmonies and the sense of sound layered on sound of the lp version but it worth a listen still the same


Second up is screen kiss , where he builds a short story around an actress he used to know

Screen Kiss - Thomas Dolby

With a thousand miles of real estate to choose from
You begin to know the value of your freedom

Both of these songs I would have been happy if they had meandered on for another 15 mins or so. In fact the lp always finished with a sense that it has ended too soon . The fact that the last track is Hyperactive always makes me feel like I've been shaken awake from a dream



You can get a recent re release of Flat Earth here with some extra tracks including the fantastic Field Work that he recorded with Ryuichi Sakamoto

Friday, 22 February 2013

Desert Island Discs 47 Olympian by Gene



47 Olympian by Gene 1995

I know it is lazy but Gene certainly didn't help themselves with the Smiths comparisons. As well as Morrissey's early patronage (usually a kiss of death) , guitar driven , songs about death , a slight vocal wail , distinctive and consistent style of early single sleeve , and non album b sides that could have been a sides.

However there was  much more to Gene than Smiths wannabees, and they had soon built up a dedicated following (largely driven by sparkling live shows ) that meant singles would crash into the lower reaches of the top 40 and then disappear a week later.

Maybe not their best lp , but the one that I like the most , just because having already got the 2 early singles when it came out it had that sense of being part of the discovery rather than a band owned by everybody.

Death weaves in and out of every song be it the straight forward pop of Haunted by you or in Sleep Well Tonight which if I was to play one song to say what the Gene sound was all about then it may well be this




What really stands out on the rest of the lp is the intricate guitar work of Steve Mason , whether on the almost chipper Can't Find the Phone or the majestic title track

Still Can't Find the Phone - Gene

Olympian track is a truly majestic bit of music showing an ambition way ahead of the run of the mill Britpop bands. Here is the lp version rather than the butchered track that was released as a single

Olympian  - Gene


you can by Olympian here

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Desert island Discs 48 Songs For Drella by Reed and Cale



48 Songs For Drella by Lou Reed and John Cale 1990

I've got 2 Lou Reed lps Transformer and New York, both of which I cant remember the last time I've played them.  I was never a big fan of the Velvet Underground, however I had read Andy Warhol's diaries and I am as you would have gathered by now a bit of a sucker for song cycles / concept lps.

Still this tribute to Andy Warhol would have still passed me by if i hadn't stumbled by accident one night on a concert of the songs that would form the lp that John Cale and Lou Reed performed in a church .

The concert was stunning and I was hooked into the narrative as well as the quiet dignity of the performances. What made it so good is with minimal instrumentation (guitar , piano , viola) the focus was on the words.

The words showed the complex conflicting character that Warhol was , this was no misty eyed celebratory sainthood but a clash of confused feelings and as a result was much more believable. It is to Lou Reed's credit that he doesn't shy away from the love/hate nature or his relationship with Warhol

The songs mix Warhol's life story and relationships into 3rd party narrative, Warhol's point of view (in one powerful piece lifting his words directly from his diary entries)  , and Cale's/ Reed's own perspective.

The lp took another year to record but the concert film stayed with me as I bought it as soon as it came out.

The lp starts with Andy escaping his small town upbringing with a desire for fame "when you are growing up in a smalltown bad skin bad eyes gay and fatty people look at you funny when you're growing up in a small town...if they are going to stare let them stare in new york city"  and starting his career in graphic design, as well as the need to surround himself with others in open house

Style it Takes has Andy starting to make connections, including the Velvet Underground, and beginning to create his own style. Its a beautiful melody and it was the first time I had heard John Cale sing, and the contrast with Lou Reed's drawl is one of the reason's the lp works so well

Here are those first 3 tracks



The fact I'd read the diaries helped me fill in the blanks and revealed just how smart the lyrics were , whole facets of Warhol's complex character captured in a line or two
The lp covers the main moments , eg his shooting but also the changing nature of his work and his relationships

The two tracks below focus on the move from artist to personality in Nobody But You .. the public Andy Warhol. This is followed by the most haunting piece with John Cale reading a passage from Warhol's diary, A Dream, where all the insecurities, resentments and doubts run wild. The contrast between the two tracks show how this is one of those lps that can only really be listened to as an lp





The lp finishes with Hello its me where as on the cover the ghost of Warhol hangs over them.

 

Andy, it's me, haven't seen you in a while
I wished I talked to you more when you were alive
I thought you were self-assured when you acted shy
hello it's me

I really miss you, I really miss your mind
I haven't heard ideas like that in such a long, long time
I loved to watch you draw and watch you paint
but when I saw you last, I turned away

When Billy Name was sick and locked up in his room
you asked me for some speed, I though it was for you
I'm sorry that I doubted your good heart
things always seem to end before they start

Hello it's me, that was a great gallery show
your cow wallpaper and your floating silver pillows
I wish I paid more attention when they laughed at you
hello it's me

Pop goes pop artist, the headline said
Is shooting a put-on, is Warhol really dead
You get less time for stealing a car
I remember thinking as I heard my own record in a bar

They really hated you, now all that's changed
but I have some resentments that can never be unmade
You hit me where it hurt I didn't laugh
your diaries are not a worthy epitaph

Oh well, now Andy, guess we've got to go
I wish some way somehow you like this little show
I know it's late in coming but it's the only way I know
hello it's me

Goodnight, Andy

Goodbye, Andy


The whole process ended  with Cale saying he would never work with Reed again.

You can buy Songs For Drella here


Monday, 18 February 2013

Desert Island Discs 49 - Closer by Joy Division


49 Closer by Joy Division 1980

Is it possible to listen to this as just a piece of music? , or does the knowledge that this was recorded just before and released just after Ian Curtis's suicide mean that facts and the legend that have grown up around joy Division cast too big a shadow?

I was 13 when this came out and so too young to really get it at release. Instead Joy division were what New order used to be and the band that had made the catchy Love will Tear us Apart, as a result the sense of myth and wonder around the band had passed me by.

It was only at poly 7 years after its release that I got to hear the lp, at which point I knew it more as a poster that seemingly covered 100 halls or residence walls than an lp.

At poly we had to do a couple of work placements and at my first I got to know a girl who had graduated a couple of years previously and started in the same dept at the same time. So not only was she 4 years older (she owned her own flat which was luckily just round the corner from the house I shared ) in , gorgeous looking but even better drank whisky like a fish and liked doing compilation tapes. For one summer I was in heaven.

The first tape she did had a mixture on one side and Closer on the other. Maybe my view was slightly coloured by how I first heard it but from then on I was hooked.

The focus of Joy division is always Ian Curtis and the lp saw his vocals so much more confident and soulful than the band's debut , he doesn't sound like someone on the cusp not of self destruction (despite the despair in some of the lyrics) but of greatness.

However just as important for me is the rhythm section. Peter Hook's bass stands out but the sound I loved about the lp was Stephen Morris's precision, flourish free , drilled and relentless drumming. It manages to dominate but not overshadow at the same time. Take that away and the thing would have fallen apart.

Finally having known him as an individually styled singer Bernard Sumner's guitar playing with it crashes jagged edges and spikes is a revelation

Listen to these two and then think about the rush of copy cats we have had in the last few years. None of them could touch the haunting beauty of Heart and Soul or the bottled tension and frustration of 24 hours

Heart and Soul - Joy Division

24 Hours - Joy Division

I'll end with a point that Garry MulHolland makes in the excellent Fear of Music 

But the most painful thing about Closer .... It's the negation of something we all want to believe. because the writing and singing of Ian Curtis are as accomplished and deeply soulful as art gets. Yet it made no difference to him . It wasn't catharsis or therapy.


You can buy Closer here


Saturday, 16 February 2013

Desert Island Discs 50 - Through the Windowpane by The Guillemots



50 Through The Windowpane by The Guillemots 2006

What a breath of fresh air this was when it was released in 2006. Britpop had long gone to be replaced by the emergence of a kind of stodge rock , Kasabian , Razorlight, Lost Prophets etc.

Suddenly here was an lp where ambition always threatened to outdo delivery.

Preceded by two fantastic singles the joyous Made up Love Song number 43 and the life affirming Trains to Brazil


I loved trains to Brazil manic brass arrangement. Inspired (not really the right word) by the London bombings it had a great lyric

Its 1 o clock on a friday morning
I'm trying to keep my back from the wall
The prophets and their bombs have had another success

And i'm wondering why we bother at all

And i think of you on cold winter mornings
Darling they remind me of when we were at school
Nothing really mattered when you called out my name
In fact, nothing really mattered at all

And i think about how long it will take them to blow us away
But i won't get me down, I'm just thankful to be facing the day
Cos days don't get you far when you're gone

It's five o clock on a Friday morning
one hundred telephones shake and ring
And one of them is from someone who knew you.......

And i still think of you on cold winter mornings
Darling they'll still remind me of when we were at school
When they could never have persuaded me that lives like yours
were the hands of these eronious fools

Finally the pay off where the lyric finally matches the music

And to those of you who moan your lives through one day to the next
Well let them take you next
Cos you live and be thankful you're here
See it could be you tomorrow next year



The lp starts in a "we'll do it our way" approach with a beautiful bit of orchestration that leads into a mournful piano refrain before the strings build again



The mix and match approach to musical backing with sudden changes in tempo and direction continues throughout the lp. It doesn't always work and there are times when the band gets stuck in a cul du sac, but whether sweeping ballads or quirky pop songs it all kind of worked



There most over the top moment comes with the 12 min finale Sao Paulo. On one hand ridiculously self indulgent on the other hand overflowing with energy and ideas , a musical fireworks display



one the other hand they can produce something as beautifully fragile as this

Redwings by The Guillemots

Later lps added more in terms of sound but lost something in terms of freshness

You can get Through the Windowpane here 



Thursday, 14 February 2013

Desert Isalnd Discs 51 With Love From the Hit Parade by The Hit Parade


51 With Love From the Hit Parade by the Hit Parade 1988 

Definitely the tweeist record on my list. This is pure bubblegum pop with songs built around main man Julian Henry's obsession with an ex girlfriend (I's convinced myself that it had to be the girl on the cover). The memories are too specific the location too precise for it to be made up (although no doubt I've over analysed and it is just a collection of unrelated songs!). The whole thing is bitter sweet laden with the regret , past obsessive and false hope that all the dispossessed cling onto but married to sing along pop tunes that flirt with cheesy..

Released in 1988 I was given a copy by a school mate of mine John. John is a musical zealot the kind of guy who felt Prefab Sprout never reached the heights of their early demos.  John was the ultimate indie kid ie he made his own t shirts ,wrote a fanzine , lost interest in bands usually by their first and certainly by their second lp. As a result John introduced me to shed load of jangly guitar bands  whilst also being completely dismissive of all that "amercan scottish shite you listen to". I realise that I've made John sound like a bit of a twat, which is a million miles from the truth, he was and I'm sure still is one of the nicest guys going.

This is another record where the result is slightly outstripped by the ambition , kind of Phil Spectre recording in a bedroom. The sleeve notes show that Julian Henry doesn't take the whole thing too seriously (I've included his notes for the songs I've chosen).

My Favourite Girl - The Hit Parade

The Hit Parade’s second single became well known for giving a new depth to contemporary music. “My Favourite Girl”is performed with gusto, imagination and a minimum of fuss and bother, and even includes a guitar solo

A couple of tracks are sung by Cath Carroll from indie contenders Miaow who also does co vocals on a couple more. I've posted it  before but it is so gorgeous it is worth a repeat

 See You in Havana - the Hit Parade

The record that went to No.1 in everybody’s favourite chart. Romantic, melancholy, distraught and drenched in an ocean of tears, the voice of Cath Carroll remembers love as it once was. How marvellous

The pretty pop tunes hide the fact that the lyrics get darker as the lp progresses

You Didn't Love me then - The Hit Parade

A hi-tech 24 track recording which features the ringing chords of a Rickenbacker 330 guitar. Real fans of the group will find this song most rewarding when listened to on the platform of Acton Town tube station

The Sun in My eyes - The Hit Parade

Without doubt the greatest song ever written. Blindness, passion and the now-familiar Hank Marvin guitar solo enrich this final chapter in the Hit Parade’s Book Of Love. It was written at her house, while she sat next door packing her cases

The whole thing ends with  Just a Memory which suggests some kind of closure

Just a Memory - The Hit Parade

and if you go then don't come back
cause I dont want reminding
if its now you're deciding
then its time for me 
to break and leave you as just a memory

An impromptu and spontaneous jam session from many of the worlds greatest players. Recorded totally live, this closing Hit Parade song frequently brings tears to the eyes of all who hear it

The lp is virtually impossible to find so I've posted more tracks than usual. However they have just released a compilation covering all 5 lps and various singles, which you can get here


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Desert Island Discs 52 First Day of Spring by Noah and the Whale


52 The First Day of Spring by Noah and the Whale 2009.

I'm a sucker for break up songs and this is one hell of a break up lp (detailing the break down of  Charlie Fink's relationship with the singer Laura Marling) and often cringeworthy in its honesty (one track details a post break up one night stand with a fan), however there is enough light and shade as well as story arch to mean it is much more than a misery fest.

The lp stsarts with a funeral drum and the realisation that it is over but clinging to the

"I'm still here hoping that one day you may come back"


We then move to looking at the breakdown with a mournful piano and violin

Well it's four in the morning,
things are getting heavy,
and we both know that it's over, but we both are not ready
and you're talking like a stranger
so I don't know what to do
and I'm callous and I'm cruel, to everyone but you


The heart of the lp sees Charlie Fink picking over the bones of his failed relationship




Halfway through we get an interlude with 2 instrumentals bookending Love of an Orchestra with its Madness Wings of a Dove type backing. It is if Charlie Fink realised that he needed to break the mood



The jauntiness of Orchestra makes the cofessional stranger even more powerful

 Stranger by Noah and the Whale

The lps moves towards closure with a sense of  moving forward and letting go



Overall a set of songs shot through with pain , confusion and regret but also a sense of hope , proper grown up pop music

You can buy First Day of Spring here

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Desert island Discs 53 Life's Hard and Then You Die by Its Immaterial


53 Life's Hard and Then You Die by Its Immaterial 1986

Along with Furniture it is a crime that this band will forever go down as a one hit wonder, and worse than that it is sometimes refered to as a novelty song



The follow up single was a big pop song and if anything even better with its soaring harmonies by the Christians ..... it flopped



The video summed up a lot about why I liked It's Immaterial and also probably why they couldnt find mainstream success. Ideas overflow , an everything but the kitchen sink approach , and too dam clever by half (I'll ignore the essential 80s white doves) . The same could be said of the debut lp Life's Hard and Then you Die.

On one hand you have great pop songs , on the other you have strange folk tunes , chants , lullabys all feeling like they've emerged from one great big melting pot.

The record company with true lack of insight thought well lets go back to a track that has spoken bits in and a sung chorus , that will do the trick as it did with Driving .... it flopped


Having released the worst track on the lp as a single by the time the catchiest of pop songs was released it was too late and the one hit wonder label was fixed


The backing sees a host of traditional instruments , banjo , trumpet , fiddle , acoustic guitar all fed through a sampler. This makes the sound distinctly off kilter even if a tad dated in places. What I love about it is that there is so much going on that I always seem to be discovering something new each time I play it

They went on the make 2 more lps (one the holy grail of an unreleased lp House for Sale which having heard it , if it had been released would have been on the chart) which were much more reflective minimalist affairs , closer to the Blue Nile (they even used their producer) but it is the debut for its pure ambition that I keep going back to

Lullaby - Its Immaterial

Ahead of their time ( the short clip below reminds me a bit of The Arcade Fire approach of get everyone on stage ) and you felt they would rather be living in the time of the dada movement , but so much more than a one hit wonder



you can buy Lifes Hard here

Friday, 8 February 2013

Desert island Discs 54 Dogs in Traffic by Love and Money


54 Dogs in Traffic by Love and Money 1991

I think I can hear the shouts of too low as I type. Formed from the ashes of Friends Again , Love and Money seemed destined for great things. The 1st lp didn't really take off (it was a strange mixture of the sublime and the awful) but that didn't stop the record company throwing loads of money at the follow up Strange Kind of Love. The whole thing is was polished within an inch of its life by Steely Dan producer Gary Katz. I could have easily gone for this lp but instead my favourite is the troubled third lp

Dogs in Traffic had a painful birth with the original lp titled The Mother's Boy rejected by the record company (incidentally some of the songs have finally seen the light of day on this year's Devil's Debt)


The lp was re recorded with new songs and features a more stripped down approach. Gone were the cod funk slabs of guitar music that drowned some of the tracks on the first 2 lps to be replaced by a much more melodic approach

The first single much as I love it was a strange choice with its jazzier backing



The lp gets off to a masterful start with the gorgeous  Winter


What follows are a series of short stories and melt in your mouth ballads sounding like they come from the heart of the mid west rather than the heart of Glasgow's west end.

Lips Like Ether - Love and Money

The final single Looking for Angeline proved to be a bit of a nail in their coffin as Phonogram cut their loses and the 4th lp, released independently with no promotion, saw them fizzle out until this years excellent Devil's Debt


The lp now goes for silly money but you can get it as a download here

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Desert Island Discs 55 Helping Hands by Butcher Boy


55 Helping Hands by Butcher Boy 2011

Another one that is probably a tad too high , but it gets extra points for the fact that when Butcher Boy's 3 lps came along  I was in a place when all the lps I was buying seemd to be by people that I already owned stuff by.

I first got into Butcher boy down to lazy comparisons to Belle and Sebastian but although there is a winsome similarity in their writing the bands for me are poles apart. The poetic lyrics are less straight story telling than Belle and Sebastian whereas the backing is less pop and has a slightly classical feel. The whole thing can feel a tad studied at times , but the pure romance of the cello , guitars , violins and piano stops it being too clever or cloying

By Helping Hands they had really hit their stride, the arrangements are spot on,  in places breath takingly beautiful and John Blain Hunt seems more confident as a singer rather than a vocalist. The part talk part sing approach for me fits the poetry structure of the lyrics (although I can see this dividing opinion). There are some lovely images in there "bubble gum smiles" and with the 3rd lp there is a more tradtiional pop element to the songs structure and as a result the melodies linger longer.

A tad twee for some but for me an achingly beautiful sound

 
 
You can buy Helping Hands here

Monday, 4 February 2013

Desert Island Discs 56 Take Fountain by The Wedding Present


56 Take Fountain by the Wedding Present 2005

I was pretty confident that The Wedding Present's debut George Best would be in this chart. It summed up all the C86 music I started to like when I got to Leeds. I saw the band play live a few times (until they started getting a Leeds football fan following and the gigs became a little hairy for a soft college boy) I even had a kick about with David Gedge on Hyde Park once (football that is .. jumpers for goalposts etc).

Taking the spirit of Orange Juice , jangly guitars with the volume and the speed turned up, with titles that Morrissey would have been proud of and the best conversational lyrics going. David Gedge only really has one subject , the break up song with either partner being a bit of a shit. Less lyrics more snatches of overheard private conversations.

However when he returned to the Wedding Present name after the break up of Cinerama both in terms of the band and his relationship with fellow Cinerama founder, he came back with a maturer sound and a break up lp to topple his debut



After a bit of a false opening track , the driving guitars of Interstate 5 create a sense of tension and doom and we know we are back in Gedge's world of sexual and relationship failure

  I should just get out of here and start driving south on Interstate 5
But I need to stay near, in case you suddenly remember that I'm alive

But I have this nagging fear that sex was all you needed
I've tried to persevere; I guess I've not succeeded

And is it sexist to say that I thought just boys were meant to behave in this way?
And though you seemed quite sincere, will you even recognise my face this time next year?

Well I'll remember how your eyes sparkled in the moonlight
You can surely sympathise; I just wanted more than one night

And yes there was one particular glance that made me afraid
That you were just seeing me as a chance of getting laid


There is still a great sense of song titles


This isnt the same Wedding Present as George Best, there is much more light and shade in the backing and a weariness in the vocals as he knows his lyrics mean he is condemned to make the same mistakes again and again

Mars Sparkles Down on Me - The Wedding Present

So yeah I've got my brand new girlfriend,
And she's great in every way
And you've got your new lover there so I guess we're both ok
And I know that we've been through this
And we have to be apart
But the thought of him lying in our bed with you, well it still just breaks my heart
Mars sparkles down on me
He says he wants to meet meoh I'm sure he's genuine

but how can i just shake his hand when it's been, all over your skin?
Mars sparkles down, on me
I should stop calling on a whim, but I wont

I know I really should consider him, but I can't
Mars sparkles down on me


one of my exhibits for David Gedge as one of the Uks most under appreciated lyricists campaign

You can buy Take Fountain here

Saturday, 2 February 2013

desert Island Discs 57 - Set Yourself on Fire by Stars







Set Yourself on Fire - Stars  2004

In hindsight probably a lot higher than it should be. Bought on the back of a review that mentioned Prefab Sprout., the opening track soon became and stayed my favourite song of the year.

It has got a great conversational lyric and I'm a sucker for a boy girl dual narrative


Mixing bits of the Smiths . Saint Etienne and New Order to make the smartest indie with a heart music, the Canadian band produced 13 perfect little relationship dramas with just enough of a bite to balance the sweetness

Calendar Girl  by Stars