Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Hit Parade: I Like Bubblegum

The Hit Parade turn back the hands of time with I Like Bubblegum to revisit pop’s golden age when I Get So Sentimental and My Favourite Girl ruled the airwaves. Cath Carroll’s even been taken out of The Hit Parade’s props cupboard to co-star in this teen-themed romance about lipstick, pop music and first kisses to ensure that they cement their position as London’s number one pop group.

Keen listeners might detect a hint of Suburbia by the Pet Shop Boys in the melody. Younger fans will no doubt validate the idea that the band instructed producer Ian Catt to use the latest recording techniques so I Like Bubblegum could sound how everyone really hoped the Pet Shop Boys’ Xenomania-produced album, Yes, would’ve sounded.

This 7” single is released on 13 September. Expect the walls of discotheques from Newquay to Newcastle to be throbbing to its charms all the way to Christmas.

I’ve got four stickers of the sleeve to give away. If you live in the UK, send me an email with your address and I’ll post you one; if you’re at either the Betsey Trotwood on Friday night or the Hangover Lounge on Sunday, I can hand the sticker over (and if you make doe-eyes at me, I’ll even let you listen to I Like Bubblegum on my ipod).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Five: Struck By Lightning

Finders Keepers must be kicking themselves they didn’t get the reissue rights to Five’s 1972 funk-folk classic, Struck By Lightning, which hit the shops yesterday. It’s like Christine Harwood and Susan Christie, only better. It’s perhaps closer in spirit and execution to Labi Siffre’s 1971 album, The Singer And The Song, a 24-carat masterpiece that hasn’t ever quite got the widespread admiration and love it merits.

Five - Struck By Lightning from Kindred Spirits on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Vic Godard: Blackpool MP3

Vic Godard is giving away the title track of his latest ep, Blackpool, a sort of anti-Holiday Hymn about the northern seaside town.

The Blackpool ep consists of four songs Vic wrote with Irvine Welsh for a short-lived musical which ran in 2002. You can buy the ep for £5 plus P&P (£1.25UK;1.50EUR & £1.99ROR). Paypal to

A new album of songs evolving over the past 15 years, We Come As Aliens, is out on October 11 and, according to Vic, is influenced by “Latin American (Same Plan), Northern Soul (Best Album), R’n’B (Life in the Distance) and Punk, and then there is Music of a Werewolf”.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Robert Scott free download

Flying Nun boss Roger Shepherd has described Robert Scott's Daylight from the forthcoming album, Ends Run Together, as "too good not to give away".

Monday, August 16, 2010

Gecko Turner: Truly

Truly is a stunning Afro-Latin summer funk anthem from Spain’s Gecko Turner. Maybe Gecko was thinking of I Love Music by The O’Jays for the jam, Sexx Laws by Beck for the groove, Love Uprising by The Chi-Lites for the horns and Cut Chemist Suite by Ozomatli for the Latin funk. Put Truly on a playlist with those songs and you have the perfect soundtrack for a pool party.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Robert Scott: Ends Run Together

Robert Scott has a solo album, Ends Run Together, out next month. If Scott’s previous solo efforts have exercised abstract instrumentalism (The Creeping Unknown) or required some restraint (Tascam Hits) then Ends Run Together seamlessly joins the dots between The Bats’ effortless melodic touch and The Clean’s captivating psychedelia.

This observation has been brought to you after hearing just one of the album’s thirteen songs, Moon Up Stairs, but my sparring partners in New Zealand who’ve heard the album say it’s all that and more. This success is no doubt due in part to the backing of a full band including Alan Starrett, the kiwi scene’s go-to man for orchestral pop, and the return of Look Blue Go Purple’s Lesley Paris (I know!).

Mistletone is releasing the album in Australia on September 4; Flying Nun will be issuing it in New Zealand at an as-yet unspecified later date.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lost Soul: Joi

Fresh from producing and playing piano on Dusty’s A Brand New Me album – her greatest lp, surely – Gamble-Huff staffer Ugene Dozier wrote Spring Fever Pt 1 for Joi, released on the small Beverly Hills label in 1971. I don’t know anything else about Joi – although I’d love to hear more, if there is anything – but am certain that even counting his work with Wilson Pickett, The O’Jays, Dusty and a whole load more, Spring Fever ranks at least equal to anything Ugene Dozier was involved in.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

One Happy Island

As their previous eps have suggested, One Happy Island are a good-time band with a love of 60s pop. Their primary references are bubblegum psych, The Kinks (I swear I can hear echoes of Dedicated Follower Of Fashion throughout this album), Syd Barrett’s simplicity and The Lucksmiths’ jangly melancholy.

This debut album is no classic – it has an immediacy that sets out its priority as tonight’s fun at the indiepop disco rather than earning a place in the rock’n’roll hall of fame - but that's the entire point: its cheap and cheerful aesthetic is joyously in keeping with the spirit in which its despatched.