Monday, 31 August 2015
I've had an eventful forty eight hours. On Saturday we took the kids into town to watch the Manchester Pride parade followed by going to see my brother who was taking part in a live graffiti event in a beer garden in The Angel pub. The two djs were spinning old school hip-hop, dub and electro and a good dollop of Kraftwerk, all of which sounded great in the faint Mancunian sunshine. Early evening came and we raced home so I could get out to one of the local Sale pubs to watch a punk covers band called Cheapskates who played a set which was 75% Clash songs. All good fun.
Yesterday we went out into Cheshire to visit my parents. I cycled there, about thirty miles through good roads and sunshine. Just arriving near their house I snapped a spoke. The car was full so I had to try to get home a few hours later with the broken spoke. All was going well. Ten miles from home near Tatton Park a second spoke went. Total pisser. I had to await rescue in a pub made more bearable by a very nice pint of Manchester Pale Ale. Today I will be going to the bike shop.
I pulled out Neu! man Michael Rother's 1977 solo album Flammende Herzen the other day. It doesn't sound like it was made that long ago. Completely instrumental and really very good indeed. Jaki Leibezeit plays drums. Rother plays everything else.
Sunday, 30 August 2015
A total change of pace and style today, a beautiful instrumental from Calexico's debut album proper The Black Light from back in 1998- catgut guitar strings, rim shots, trumpets. They went on to make several really good albums after this but I played The Black Light the other night and it sounded like their best and most effortless record.
Minas De Cobre
Saturday, 29 August 2015
I found this twenty four minute time capsule while looking for this morning's Yargo clip- a special edition of Tony Wilson's The Other Side Of Midnight TV show from the summer of 1989. Mike Pickering's T-Coy, A Guy Called Gerald and Happy Mondays playing live down at Granada Studios. A party, as Wilson says, with the emphasis on part-E. As ever, the crowd (their clothes, hairstyles and dancing) are the real stars.
Italian reader Luca has a guest spot over at Acid Ted where he regularly writes about the joys of Italian disco. Recently he bemoaned the lack of the 12" version of Bodybeat Blues by Yargo anywhere on the internet. I left a comment saying I might have it. I don't unfortunately, neither in physical format nor digitally. I do have the album Bodybeat though and the album version of the song. Sorry Luca.
To summarise, and I'm sure I've typed a paragraph very similar to this before, Yargo were the classic example of an 80s Manchester band who could pull a thousand people to a gig with an M postcode but were virtually unheard of elsewhere. Singer Basil Clarke (the owner of a golden voice that drew comparisons with Marvin Gaye), Phil Kirby and Paddy Steer (drums and bass) had all been in Biting Tongues (the former home of Graham Massey of 808 State and also a man called Eddie, who I know). Yargo played a Mancunian take on jazz, soul, reggae, ska and dub with a bit of rock too. Andy Diagram (trumpet, later in James) also passed through the ranks. Bodybeat, from 1987, is a lost gem, well worth checking out. They also did the theme tune to Anthony H Wilson's late night music show The Other Side Of Midnight, Granada region only, and the source of legendary live appearances by Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses. Yargo split in 1991. Basil Clarke has made solo records and sung with Future Sound Of London. Listen to this below (or that above) and you'll see that they should have been much bigger than they were.
Friday, 28 August 2015
This is a ninety minute mix by David Holmes, a promo for a silent disco night he's doing at Belfast City Hall tonight- an eclectic mix of songs, with samples of 1960s radio djs providing links, but always with one eye on the rhythm. Somewhere within it is a Weatherall dub mix of Guilty Of Love from Holmes' new project Unloved.
Thursday, 27 August 2015
Another day, another mix, another Weatherall post... this is an hour long mix from Lord Sabre inspired by a new book 'Psychedelia and Other Colours' by Rob Chapman, out in September. Weatherall has also written the foreword for the book.
The mix in Weatherall's own words: "Deadlines were passing and and I needed a kick up the arse, but with an army of psychic skeletons waiting to surge across synapses should they be lysergically fired, going "gonzo" was not an option when I found myself lacking Caliope's influence. I needed to get back on the bus but knew that the cost of a ticket was one I was unwilling to pay.My sanity is priceless. I needed a "madeleine moment" but tea and cake wasn't going to cut it. Casting my mind back to my first trip I remembered a good part of it was spent on a large Victorian brass bed listening to the static between stations on a transistor radio.I heard my own internal soundtrack, music made of ether and electricity. It was then it struck me. A sonic key was required. After some hours spent in the bunker's research library I compiled a collection of music that crackled and fizzed within a nebulous fog. Static charges mirroring synaptic fireworks. On mixing and playing the result was immediate. The foreword was written."
1: She Possessed The Secret of Listening To The Stars - The Humble Bee
2: Lapis Lazuli - Fisherofgold
3:Caisteal Grugail - Invocation
4: Often Destroyed - Helm
5: Unchained - TCB
6: No Drums - Tim Hecker
7: After Tomorrow - Arovane and Hior Chronik
8: Walk Into The Light - White Noise Sound
No Big Audio Dynamite posts since June- heaven's above, let's rectify that straight away. The albums the original line up made are all worthy of time and attention. The first has the breakout tunes- E=MC2, Medicine Show, The Bottom Line. The second, Number 10 Upping Street, refines things, has Joe Strummer co-writing and producing, and includes possibly their best song V Thirteen. The third album, Tighten Up Vol. 88, comes inside a Paul Simonon painting of the Westway and Trellick Tower sleeve and has some top drawer songs- Other 99 and The Battle Of All Saints Road among them. Megatop Phoenix was the last they made before most of the band split leaving Mick to form BAD II. Megatop is a house influenced record, but with the usual high quality song writing and the sense of playfulness. The singles from each of the albums came with a variety of remixes, versions and b-sides. This song is from a promo 12" called Lovesensi ( a joke on Prince's Lovesexy from the same year). It had the BAD Overture on the a-side and a remix of 2000 Shoes on the flip. 2000 Shoes was on 1988's Tighten Up but the remix would sound equally at home on Megatop Phoenix and is a tribute of sorts to disgraced Philippine shoe owner Imelda Marcus. Zippy, upbeat and club-bound.
2000 Shoes (Top Buzz)
Wednesday, 26 August 2015
This is the beach at St Annes on the Fylde coast. We had a few days camping in a wooden pod up near Southport. Very nice it was too, lovely sunny weather- the sun even shone in Blackpool, not something I've ever experienced before. We had vouchers for Blackpool zoo. I know some people are very anti-zoos and Blackpool zoo used to be pretty grim but they've spent a lot of money doing it up and it's a good day out with (or without) kids. The only gorillas in the north of England including a very large silverback. As well as the elephant, giraffes and big cats they've got a small pack of wolves and some animals you don't often notice in a zoo- aardvarks, anteaters and tapirs. Inland there are some beautiful parts of Lancashire, between Preston and the coast at Southport. Many people speed north, on their way to Blackpool or further to the Lakes and Scotland, missing it.
In a petrol station I heard Hideaway by De'Lacey, a monumental tune from the mid 90s- that shoo-dum thump of the drums and Rainie Lassiter's vocal can move any dancefloor. For a moment I thought I was going to turn into the cycle courier from Spaced and start dancing there and then, in among the canned fizzy drinks and barbeque charcoal. But I thought better of it sadly.
Hideaway (Extended Deep Dish Remix)
Sunday, 23 August 2015
It's all been pretty quiet on the Warpaint front this year despite the internet trailer for No Way Out back in March. This remix of Hi by Equal was posted recently and strips the swirling guitar, bass and drums out and instead adds some low key electronics to the mix, coming up very mellow and very nice for a Sunday morning.
We're going away for a couple of nights so they won't be anything here until Tuesday/Wednesday. See you all later.
Saturday, 22 August 2015
One of my favourite records of this summer has been the Peaking Lights remix of Sinkane's Yacha, which I posted a few months back. Ten minutes long, a beautiful collision of Sudan via Brooklyn versus a Wisconsin version of Jamaica. Despite being a dub mix it's pretty fast, fully coloured in and with a vocal that swims above the rhythm and melody. A proper earworm and a dancer too. Peaking Lights have remixed three other songs from Sinkane's Mean Love album and they all came out on an ep yesterday. As an aside, when did records start being released on Fridays?
Hold Tight is bass led with a stacatto beat and dubby percussion. Galley Boys starts with a dog barking and then rides on for a seven minutes, buckets of echo and delay. How We Be is a bass led beast, funky and insistent. Four forward thinking songs, boundaries removed, fully worked out for the head and the feet.
Friday, 21 August 2015
It's Friday, so as Drew would have it, let's dance.
One of the many dance records Factory passed up on in the late 80s that Mike Pickering then put out on DeConstruction was his own T-Coy track Carino (posted yesterday). They also passed up Voodoo Ray and Ride On Time. Another was Dream 17 by Annette, mentioned by Drew himself in the comments yesterday. Dream 17 is a massive, forward thinking house record with a superb melodic bassline, the 303 in full effect and a vocal giving it soul. It was actually made by Pickering and Simon Topping plus two others using the Annette alias. Carino, Dream 17 and Voodoo Ray were all compiled on the seminal (oops, I used the seminal word) compilation North- The Sound Of The Dance Underground, which had an equally memorable cover (from Manchester's Central Station Design)- goodbye to the grey and the indie, welcome to technicolour house.
There was also a Derrick May remix. Nearly as good as the original.
Thursday, 20 August 2015
Mike Pickering is one of the key people in the Manchester/Factory/Hacienda story- a mate of Rob Gretton's via Man City away games he started putting on club nights in abandoned buildings in Rotterdam and formed Quando Quango. He was the man who shaped the music policy of the Hacienda from its early days. He ripped the microphone out of the dj booth so they couldn't talk over the records and began to create the vibe he'd been so impressed by at New York's dance music clubs. He was the bookings manager for the Hacienda. He played house music at the Nude and Hot nights which in no small part invented the house scene of the late 80s. He signed the Happy Mondays to Factory. He told Factory he wanted to set up a dance offshoot label and when knocked back set up DeConstruction, one of the 90s key dance music labels. In 1987 he formed T-Coy to make house music (along with ex-ACR man Simon Topping) and they made this classic record.
He still djs today. This set from a night at Manchester's Albert Halls from earlier this month shows him in fine ravey house form, albeit with less hair than he had in the photo above.
Wednesday, 19 August 2015
I had other things planned for this week but the St Anthony single has sent me off in this direction so I'm following where it takes me. Happy Mondays second album Bummed is a unique record- it sounds like nothing else ever recorded. The follow up, their real breakthrough Pills 'n' Thrills has a more commercial sound and is more dancefloor oriented (and none the worse for it) but Bummed is something else entirely. The original Wrote For Luck single, long before the W.F.L. remixes, came out in October 1988 and had a couple of different versions of the song and also this B-side Boom, a short song that presumably just didn't make the cut for Bummed. I'm assuming it was produced by Martin Hannett. It certainly sounds like it was done at the same time. It has that swirling mess of keyboards and guitars, the loping beat and some of Shaun's stream of consciousness, straight out of Salford lyrics- 'thanks to the cabby, we love the waccy baccy, but we couldn't pay the fare, so we pinned him down, held his feet to the ground and dumped all over his hair'. Or something like that.
I've survived without a file hosting service for some time now- Mediafire has a copyright detecting thing that makes downloads almost impossible, Boxnet as we know are not playing ball. For the time being I've just signed up with Zippyshare although I don't like the way it looks very much. We'll see how we get on. To be honest, I'm not an mp3 piracy evangelist and using Soundcloud and/or Youtube hasn't seemed to affect my ability to post what I want to or the numbers of people reading- but it is nice to have a download sometimes.
Tuesday, 18 August 2015
While I'm posting stuff from the city that was the capital and centre of the Industrial Revolution this is the new single from New Order, thirty four years after Ceremony (see yesterday's post). Restless is half electronic strings and synths, half acoustic guitars, combining Bernard's world weary sounding verses with a vague sense of euphoria. Are we going to get into the whole 'is it really New Order without Hooky?' debate? The answer, I think, is no. In a way they don't seem to look like New Order anymore. This song is perfectly serviceable 21st century electro-pop and sounds just fine coming out of your speakers. We'll have to wait to see if the album, Music Complete, pushes things forward further- it features guest spots from Iggy Pop, La Roux and Brandon Flowers, which doesn't seem very New Orderish either.
Monday, 17 August 2015
On July 19th 1986 New Order headlined a show at GMEX (formerly Manchester's Central railway station, for much of the 70s and early 80s a derelict carpark. We used to park there when shopping in town and my Mum and Dad got all of us kids back in the car on one occasion and drove off, leaving one of my brothers standing forlornly where the car had been, aged only three or four. Don't worry- they realised before leaving the carpark). The show was the highlight of the Festival of the Tenth Summer,a Factory organised event celebrating ten years since punk and the show at the Lesser Free Trade Hall where the Sex Pistols set into motion everything that has happened to Manchester since. The Lesser Free Trade Hall, also the venue where Bob Dylan was accused of being Judas, is now a swish hotel. The Festival of the Tenth Summer had its own Factory catalogue number (FAC 151) and had nine other events including a fashion show, a book, a Peter Saville installation, an exhibition of Kevin Cummins photographs and so on. Very Factory. Support for New Order at the gig included The Smiths (billed as co-headliners), The Fall, A Certain Ratio, Cabaret Voltaire, OMD, John Cale, John Cooper Clarke and Buzzcocks. Not a bad line up really.
During their set New Order were joined on stage by Ian McCulloch who sang Ceremony with them. This clip shows that meeting, the only drawback being it's less than a minute long.
There's an audio only version of the whole song here. Ian sings in a register closer to Ian Curtis' and certainly gives it his best shot. The bit where Hooky joins Mac at the mic is great.
Ceremony was Ian Curtis' last song, intended for Joy Division but recorded and released as the first New Order record. The first two New Order records actually- it was released in March 1981 by the three piece New Order and produced by Martin Hannett. It was then re-released in September 1981 in a newer, slightly longer version with Gillian Gilbert on board and with a different Saville sleeve. If you want to get really trainspottery about it, the run out groove on the first version says 'watching love grow forever', while on the second version it has 'this is why events unnerve me'.
New Order and Echo And The Bunnymen toured the USA together along with Public Image Ltd throughout 1987, billed as The Monsters Of Alternative Rock. The Melody Maker reported from it as the picture up top shows. According to Lydon's autobiography 'Bernard Sumner was having problems emotionally and looked a bit the worse for wear' and describes him being tied to a trolley to sing at one gig as he was unable to stand. 'Nice fella' though says Lydon. Bernard's favourite tipple was 'a pint of headache' (Pernod and blackcurrant).
Sunday, 16 August 2015
I went to the launch event for the St Anthony single on Friday night- it was a ticketed event before you go imagining I'm some kind of mover or shaker. It was held in the old Granada TV studios, Wilson's place of work. After a screening of the video and some brief interview clips Mike Garry performs several of his distinctively Mancunian poems with Joe Duddell and a string quartet, finishing with St Anthony- An Ode To Anthony H Wilson. His poetry is hard edged, honest, human and real and often comes loaded with a punchline, making you both laugh and cry and his delivery is a performance- rapid fire rhymes and sudden stops. The Wilson tribute especially is moving, heartfelt without ever becoming sentimental- much like the man himself. At ten the doors to one of the filming studios opens and the thump of house music begins. Mike Pickering plays what turns out to be a blinding set followed at midnight by Bobby Langley who starts out with the Andrew Weatherall remix of St Anthony, this new version of Your Silent Face booming out with Mike Garry's voice. Manchester vibes are very much in the area.
Mike Garry & Joe Duddell - St Anthony: An Ode to Anthony H Wilson - Andrew Weatherall Remix on MUZU.TV.
Saturday, 15 August 2015
Final Lydon post this morning- it would be silly to move on without mentioning Open Up, his collaboration with Leftfield from 1993, a high octane, pummeling piece of progressive house with a paint stripping vocal from John complaining about Hollywood's refusal to cast him in its films. Brilliantly, as the song was released Los Angeles was on fire.
Leftfield's Neil Barnes had known Lydon from North London and they approached him tentatively about vocals. Lydon leapt at it. The single came with a handful of remixes including the Sabres Of Paradise I Hate Pink Floyd Mix and a Dust (Chemical) Brothers remix.
At a later date (some royal anniversary or other) Leftfield returned the favour and remixed God Save The Queen. Not strictly necessary but I once heard this in a club and it sounded immense.
There is no future in England's dreaming.
Friday, 14 August 2015
The Adventures of John Lydon Part Two- after the breakup of the Sex Pistols in 1978 Lydon was abandoned in the USA by McClaren while he set about making his doomed film and the rest of the band flew down to Rio to meet Ronnie Biggs. Lydon is rightly scathing about all of this in his book. He returned to London and took refuge in a flat he bought in Gunter Grove. These are some of the strongest sections of the book- his chaotic life in Gunter Grove, the continual threat of being busted by the police, harassment by the tabloid press, a trip to Jamaica to scout acts for Virgin's new reggae label. Reverting to Lydon from Rotten he sets about putting together a new band and a new type of band. Public Image Limited, more than any other band except Joy Division maybe, made what is now thought of as post-punk. He hooks up with Keith Levene (who gets castigated all the way through Lydon's autobiography but he acknowledges his abilities as a guitarist and writer) and old mate Jah Wobble (who can't play bass when he joins). Together they make some of the most brilliant music of the period. Opening single Public Image is still one of the great 7" records- thrilling, intense and Lydon giving his enemies (McClaren mainly) a tongue lashing and proclaiming himself as his own property. Levene and Wobble plus drummer Jim Walker are on fire.
After the first album they regroup to make Metal Box, all living together at Gunter Grove. No verses, no choruses, no running order, no filler. Not an easy listen in places but forward thinking and visionary. Death Disco is like nothing else, and sounds exactly like its title. Poptones is very unsettling. Careering is stunning.
After Metal Box PiL began to suffer from personnel changes- Wobble hates Levene and leaves, Levene is increasingly unreliable, Walker had already gone before or during Metal Box. Jeanette Lee joins as part of PiL's umbrella organisation and they make another album, The Flowers Of Romance, uneven but good in places. This Top Of The Pops performance is pretty memorable.
Beyond this Lydon's move to Los Angeles and further issues with band members leads to a decline in output and quality. The singles remain strong for a few more years- This Is Not A Love Song with a truly daft but attention grabbing video (and I prefer this poppy version with horns to the earlier one). A handful of album tracks still burn brightly.
In 1987 a further go in the studio, this time with seasoned professionals like Steve Vai and Ginger Baker, sees a new album called Album, and another great single- Rise- which managed to be a fairly major hit and still sounds vital. Beyond that, an LA cartoon version of PiL takes over as far as I'm concerned but I know there are people who will make claims for songs from beyond this point.
In Anger Is An Energy Lydon rails against X Factor and the obsession with perfect singing voices. Quite rightly he says what you say and the emotion in a voice is far more important than being able to sing scales or hit every note perfectly. PiL's best songs show this time and again and from Public Image through to Rise Lydon made records that are as good or better than Sex Pistols records- they just don't have the same impact as he did as Johnny Rotten. The times have changed. I saw PiL in 2009 and the new version of the band he's put together play a great set, proving the man can still do it when he wants it.
A final clip to illustrate his peculiar genius- invited to play on US tv show American Bandstand in 1980 PiL arrive to be told they will be miming. Lydon is at first disgusted and affronted but then plays with the format leading the studio audience, camera crew and producers on a merry dance. Surreal and hilarious and a little bit frightening.
Thursday, 13 August 2015
Jackson Pollock Number 1 (Lavender Mist) Detail
I've been into work today for the A Level results. To celebrate a great set of results for my A Level History students and our establishment's results generally here's Andrew Weatherall's latest two hour radio show for NTS, broadcast last week. Expect the usual selection of weird and wonderful.
One of the books I got through on holiday in France was John Lydon's autobiography Anger Is An Energy. It was in parts entertaining and infuriating (like the man himself), but eventually became a bit boring. I'll come back to it in a bit.
John Lydon willed himself into becoming Johnny Rotten in his late teens, a complete one-off, unique, an utterly new frontman for a rock 'n' roll band. The three men he joined were essentially a sped up pub rock band using stolen gear until John found his voice and wrote lyrics that did more than describe boredom, they actually took on the British establishment. Their recorded legacy is out of all proportion to their influence and importance- four astonishing singles, one breathtaking album (containing all four astonishing singles) and a B-side (The Stooges cover No Fun). Lydon freely admits in his book that he had no idea how to sing when he joined the band, had never thought of joining a group or singing. His vocal style is perfect for those songs and had to be found quickly, in rehearsal rooms and then on stage. His lyrics on Anarchy In The UK and God Save The Queen are supreme, his delivery on Pretty Vacant is hair raising, not to mention Bodies or Submission. Rotten wasn't just about the words, he knew image and presentation were important, stamps of identity and markers. The visual sense of Rotten and the Pistols and their entourage is as important as their sound.
In 1976 Tony Wilson put them on Granada TV at tea time (Lydon slags Wilson off in his book, calling him smug and sarcastic, which is a bit silly).
The Sex Pistols were, given the personalities involved, always living on borrowed time and their split can't have surprised anyone. The Winterland gig in 1978 contains the greatest onstage comment ever (at 6.39).
Lydon's book is good on the Pistols years, his upbringing and his dirt poor childhood of North London in the 1960s, the Irish and Jamaican diaspora, his illness and recovery (meningitis, not nice) and the rise from nothing to pioneering punk band and public enemy number one. This is all good stuff and well told. But, and you knew there was a but, eventually it all gets very wearing. The book is written in Lydon's voice which gives it authenticity I suppose, but after a while all the phwooaars and wowzers and BITS-IN-CAPITAL-LETTERS get irritating. Not to mention constantly referring to himself in the third person. He also slags off almost everyone except his wife and family- Malcolm McClaren (no surprise there), Vivienne Westwood, all his fellow Sex Pistols, most of the other punk bands, Joe Strummer, everyone in PiL especially Jah Wobble and Keith Levene, his live audience (who can't keep up with him apparently), the record buying audience, Britain, journalists (he's never had any good press apparently), Jon Savage... and so on. He claims to have invented almost everything that's happened since the mid 70s from punk (fair enough) and social comment in songs, to house music and hip hop, even David Beckham's haircuts... Everything he's done was always the right decision (including inviting Sid in to join the Pistols, which partly led to the demise of both the band and Sid). He sees himself as a walking version of the Millwall FC song- no one likes him, he doesn't care. On top of this he is wildly contradictory. He claims Sid was both clever and stupid within a few pages. He claims to abhor violence, lives the life of a Gandhi loving pacifist yet gets a massive kick repeatedly out of hanging around with Arsenal's top boys, drinking in pubs used by London's gangsters, and using his minder/manager Rambo to cause trouble and crack heads. On and on he goes, circling around, falling out with everyone he's ever worked with, most of whom are portrayed as money grabbing parasites while his motives are always pure and artistic. He does admit he must be hard to work with. The chapter on the 1996 Sex Pistols re-union is a joke- Jones, Matlock and Cook were all this, while he was that, it wasn't about the money, he doesn't have any money, he did it for the art unlike the others, they insulted him with a demo for a new song etc etc. It wore me out to be honest and by the last few chapters detailing his television work I'd pretty much lost interest. Which is a shame because he was one of the true, stand alone giants in music.
It may be of course that the whole book is just a wind up. In which case, pffft.
I'll get to PiL later.
Wednesday, 12 August 2015
I got the Mbongwana Star album a few weeks ago but haven't got around to listening to it until recently. It's a bizarre and brilliant record, straight out of Kinshasa mixing Congolese African style with a hypnotic, trippy acid house vibe and making something very new. In this stew there are fluid guitar lines, thumping drums and percussion, strange samples, techno beats, all sorts. This single, Malukayi, is funky as you like, but ominous too with more than a little menace.
Tuesday, 11 August 2015
One of my favourite stories of musical cross cultural pollination is Jamaica giving us ska and reggae and in return Jamaican rude boys taking back multiple pairs of Clarks Desert Boots (and Wallabies and Desert Trek). It's a story that goes back to at least the early 1970s when they were adopted by various Jamaican musicians. Dillinger's 1976 hit CB200 describes him getting his Honda CB200 motorbike, riding into Kingston and getting himself a new pair of trousers and some Clarks Desert Boots. During police raids on sound systems in the 70s the police would pull all the rude boys wearing the Somerset shoes, assuming they must be criminals- how else would they be able to afford such expensive footwear? Natty dread and natty footwear.
Like the other mainstays of British street style- Harrington jackets, Fred Perry polo shirts, Dr Martens- the price has sky rocketed in recent years. Gone are the days when you could go shopping in town, buy the above and still have change for the bus home and a bag of chips.
Monday, 10 August 2015
This has appeared today on the eight anniversary of his death- a poetic tribute to Anthony H Wilson and the modern Manchester he was instrumental in creating. The poem was written by Mike Garry and then set to music by Joe Duddell (an orchestral version of New Order's Your Silent Face). The video has a variety of people you'll recognise lip-synching the words. I have to say, it pushes a lot of my buttons. New Order played it over the PA at their Jodrell Bank gig and Hooky played at his recent gig in Macclesfield. Several months ago a clip of Andrew Weatherall playing a dance version of this at the A Love From Outer Space festival at Carcasonne Castle was on Youtube (although I can't find it right now). That very Weatherall remix of this is on the B-side of the 12", out in a couple of weeks, with all proceeds to the Christie. How many more reasons do you need to buy it?
A few weeks ago in July Mark (who runs Cooking Up A Quiet Storm, as series of mixtapes provided by a variety of bloggers) asked for suggestions for a collective effort, a summer mixtape, inspired by the picture above. It dropped, as the young folk say, while I was in France. It is expertly sequenced by Mark.
My suggestion was a song I posted several months ago and remains one of my favourite tunes of the year, Mono Life's stunning remix of Sunrise by Humberside band Pearl's Cab Ride, and it occupies the last ten minutes of the mix. Before that you'll find a bunch of mellow summer sounds including Goldfrapp, Laura Nyro, Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee and Antonio Carlos Jobim. If the sun's out round your way, dig in.
The campsite we stayed on in the Jura was massively popular with the Dutch. I'd estimate that 80% of the campers (tents, motorhomes) were from the Netherlands. The remainder were Belgian or French with a handful of Brits. There were Dutch kids everywhere, at least half of them wearing football shirts. The parents, most of whom spoke perfect English, would talk to us about football. Football is an international language, a way in to talk to complete strangers in the sun. They love English football- a Belgian chap from Antwerp a few tents up from us wanted to know about how his countrymen Marouanne Fellaini and Adnan Januzai are seen by us Manchester United fans. His neighbour was a Dutchman who wanted our opinion on Louis van Gaal and Robin van Persie. I mentioned to him that as far as I could see the Dutch kids were mainly wearing, in descending order, the shirts of Bayern Munich, Barca, Paris St Germain and Ajaz a lowly fourth. He became quite animated. 'I'm a Feyenoord fan' he said. 'These kids only follow Munich because of Arjen Robben. As far as I'm concerned if they wear a Bayern shirt, kick 'em off the campsite. If they wear an Ajax shirt, kick 'em off the campsite'. I don't think he was joking either. I got the feeling he may have been a fairly rabid Feyenoord fan as a younger man. He explained that in Holland the fans of all the clubs that aren't Ajax get on quite well- they are united in their mutual loathing of Ajax. Our neighbour for our last two nights was also Dutch. He said the reason they love English football is because 'it's not for cissies'. Our players get kicked and get up again, unlike in Spain, Italy and France. For the record English football shirts were few and far between- in amongst all the Bayern, Barca, PSG and Ajax shirts I spotted one Arsenal jersey (worn by a French boy obvs), a Chelsea shirt and, ugh, two Man City jerseys.
Sunday, 9 August 2015
Hi. We're back. We found that sun we were looking for, 30-34 degrees of it most days. It hangs about over France almost every summer apparently. The Jura is ace- beautiful hills and villages, lakes for swimming in, cheap wine.
This is that Andrew Weatherall remix of Gwenno, bouncy Welsh psychedelic dub. It turned up just before we left two weeks ago and got several airings in the tent.