Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Edwyn Collins at the 12 Bar Club

Photo by John Jervis

Edwyn Collins played a secret show at London's tiny 12 Bar Club last night. He was sat on the stage, flanked by Roddy Frame and Andy Hackett, and did an intimate and utterly lovely set:

Falling and Laughing
Home Again
What Presence!?
Make Me Feel Again
One Track Mind
A Girl Like You

There may have been one more song, possibly Running Away With Myself, but it was the refreshing beer I had to keep drinking in that hot evening air that broke my memory.

During the gig, Roddy pointed out that three blokes sat on a stage "was against everything Postcard stood for. It's folk music. We're old and grey...".
"And in your way," Andy Hackett chimed in. Much laughter was had.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Indiepop Museum

Exhibit A: Ticket for Felt's last-ever gig.

Monday, July 28, 2008

12 Fucks and 1 Lollipop

That was the best, most succint, review of Indietracks I read. Given that it was texted to me on Saturday morning, I fully expect that the author improved upon this total. I would ask for an update, but I imagine that the scribe is enjoying some much-needed rest.

If this blog is to be a reliable organ of historical record, I should probably point out that there was some exaggeration in the reviewer's claim. He doesn't eat lollipops.

If there are any better reviews of Indietracks, please let me know.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Chills in 1987

The Chills (Mark X) released I Love My Leather Jacket in the UK in 1987. The files below are the press pack that came with the single

Chills TNT interview

Chills biography

Chills live review

Chills NZ Herald interivew

Chills reviews

Chills press release part 1

Chills press release part 2

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lost Soul: The Tempos

The eight in a series of soul classics that have fallen through the floorboards

The pleasure and pain of love is one of soul music’s most enduring themes. Holland-Dozier-Holland knew it best when they wrote The Miracles’ I Gotta Dance To Keep From Crying (“Gather round me swingers and friends/Help me forget my hurt and tears/About the only girl I ever loved/The only one I’m thinking of”) and The Isley Brothers’ This Old Heart Of Mine (Is Weak For You): “Always with half a kiss you remind me of what I miss/Though I try to control myself/Like a fool I start grinnin' cause my head starts spinning”.

It’s no secret that Motown’s Sound Of Young America inspired thousands of young Americans to create their own soul music, the cream of which became the heartbeat of the Northern Soul movement. The Tempos’ Sad Sad Memories, a pulsating, bittersweet torment of love and loss, probably wouldn’t exist without This Old Heart Of Mine, but it’s every bit as good as The Isley Brothers’ classic.

The old Northern crowd go for The Tempos’ Countdown (Here I Come) over Sad Sad Memories but I reckon that’s only because it’s faster, not because it’s better...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hot New Band

I read an interview with minor pop tart Peaches Geldof in one of London's free newspapers ("you get what you pay for" would be a suitable tagline for all of them) last week in which she enthused about a great new band she's just discovered called The Fire Engines.

Ever eager to learn more, I rushed to the internets to check out this exciting new beat combo. Their 1981 single Candyskin suggests they'll go far.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Montt Mardie

What kind of a name is that? Not a real one. Montt Mardie is the nom de pop of Swedish bloke David Pagmar.
What kind of music is that? The light bounce of the Pale Fountains, early 70s horn-filled soul, the classic pop of Burt Bacharach and a basic reading of Dexys in 82. He’s even got a song called Come On Eileen.
But not a cover of it? No. It’s a cover of Håkan Hellström's Kom igen Lena, which was itself inspired by Come On Eileen. Calling his cover Come On Eileen is not a bad joke by rock standards. Less amusingly, perhaps, he covers Rhianna’s Umbrella in Swedish, Paraply.
Genius or madman? Set Sail Tomorrow is quite clearly the work of pop genius. The b-side, a duet with Jens Lekman, quite clearly isn’t. Much of Montt Mardie’s work will appeal to fans of the el label, although he claims to be influenced by Duran Duran and Joy Division.
Yet more oddness! Quite. The Duran influence is evident in the 80s production of songs like Highschool Drama, but if Mr Pagmar has ever heard a Joy Division record, he certainly forgot about it when he entered the recording studio.
I don’t get it. Do you like him or not? I fuckin’ love Set Sail Tomorrow. I’ll reserve judgement on his other material.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Professional Competent Rockin' And Tight

Last night, music connoisseurs were given a new metonym to add to Rock’s Pantheon. Up there with John “Dr Winston O’Boogie” Lennon, James “The Hardest Working Man In Showbusiness” Brown, Elton “Cockfarmer” John and James “Cunt” Blunt, we now have MJ “Professional Competent Rockin’ And Tight” Hibbett.

During a dress rehearsal for his Edinburgh Festival Larf Riot, My Exciting Life In Rock, in the upstairs of a Bloomsbury pub, MJ took an adoring crowd through the tears, the laughter, the drugs (well, half an E in 1994), the noise made by pissing in a stainless steel sink while locked out of your hotel room buck naked (the music of the future, quite possibly) and having his International Hit sung by Norwegian school children.

Afterwards – there was an encore as, obv, the crowd called out for more – MJ gave everyone a badge, a CD and, if they didn’t escape quickly enough, a MANLY HUG. Phew! It was ACE.

If you’re in Edinburgh in early August, My Exciting Life In Rock will be at Medina, 45-47 Lothian Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1HB (phone 0131 225 6313)from Monday 4-Saturday 9, 6-7pm.

It will, natch, be Professional, Competent, Rockin’ And Tight.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Lost Soul: Peggy Gaines

The seventh in a series of soul classics that have fallen through the floorboards

Readers, were we assembled in a room with Peggy Gaines listening to Sweet Way Of Living for the first time, we would hoist her victoriously upon our shoulders, carry her around the room triumphantly and proclaim her a deity.

This stunning song greets you with the sort of celebratory fanfare of horns that opened soul music’s other great proclamation of undying love, The Majestics’ (I Love Her So Much) It Hurts Me and a vocal purr that suggests Miss Gaines is most satisfied.

You can imagine Peggy Gaines on a hot summer’s morning, leaving her beau’s house and declaring her blissful devotion (“Every day, I walk along/And I’m feeling mighty proud/Telling everyone I meet/I’m shouting out loud”).

There’s a beautiful insouciance to Gaines’ delivery that lets you picture her sashaying down the street with a dip in her hip and a glide in her stride, casually shrugging “it seems I have a magic touch” because everything is just right and the ecstasy of love has made her fit to burst.

Just one listen to the guitar, a close cousin to Ann Sexton’s You’ve Been Gone Too Long, will tell you that Sweet Way Of Living was made in the South. The b-side, Just To Satisfy My Baby, is a mini-masterpiece in Southern Soul pacing and passion. If you like Sweet Way Of Living – and you will – then you should check out a compilation of Nashville’s Ref-O-Ree label, which has another Peggy Gaines song, some essential late Roscoe Shelton sides and in Freddie Waters’ Singing A New Song, the label’s closest companion to Sweet Way Of Living.

But it doesn’t contain Sweet Way Of Living. 90 seconds of the greatest pop music you could wish for and it hasn’t been reissued anywhere. Unbelieveable.