Chorizo’s top 60 Tindersticks songs

Last week on Twitter @boywiththearabstrap posted one of his trademark song polls.

 

The result of this poll and in particular the lack of votes for the Tindersticks song provoked heated debate.

 

 

Admittedly The ‘Sticks (as nobody calls them) were up against strong opposition but the main reason they lost the poll so heavily was because “I Was Your Man” is not one of their best songs. So I waded into the Twittermelee to say so.

 

 

Being the kind of sad obsessive I am, having made a statement like that I then had to check it by compiling a list of my favourite 50 Tindersticks songs. They’ve done a lot of covers and instrumentals so I excluded those to make the task a little easier. Actually I couldn’t get it down to 50 so here, in reverse order as is tradition, is my top 60 Tindersticks songs interspersed with a few of the band’s official videos.

60. Desperate Man (Curtains)

59. Tiny Tears (Tindersticks 2nd album)

58. Slippin’ Shoes (The Something Rain)

57. Let’s Pretend (Curtains)

56. Black Smoke (Falling Down a Mountain)

55. Were We Once Lovers? (The Waiting Room)

54. A Marriage Made In Heaven (single)

53. Help Yourself (The Waiting Room)

52. Everything Changes (Don’t Even Go There EP)

51. Patchwork (Tindersticks 1st album)

50. El Diablo En El Ojo (Tindersticks 2nd album)

49. Medicine (The Something Rain)

48. Hey Lucinda (The Waiting Room)

47. People Keep Comin’ Around (Can Our Love)

46. Travellin’ Light (Tindersticks 2nd album)

45. Milky Teeth (Tindersticks 1st album)

44. This Fire of Autumn (The Something Rain)

43. No Man in the World (Can Our Love)

42. Mistakes (Tindersticks 2nd album)

41. For Those… (b-side of Marbles)

40. Make Believe (b-side of Rented Rooms)

39. Like Only Lovers Can (The Waiting Room) 

38. Walking (Curtains)

37. Second Chance Man (The Waiting Room)

36. Sweet Memory (Waiting for the Moon)

35. (Tonight) Are You Trying To Fall In Love Again? (Curtains)

34. Raindrops (Tindersticks 1st album)

33. The Waiting Room (The Waiting Room)

32. Another Night In (Curtains)

31. Her (Tindersticks 1st album)

30. Can Our Love (Can Our Love)

29. Until the Morning Comes (Waiting for the Moon)

28. Tyed / Tie Dye (Tindersticks 1st album)

27. If She’s Torn (Simple Pleasure)

26. Yesterday’s Tomorrows (The Hungry Saw)

25. Harmony Around My Table (Falling Down a Mountain)

24. A Night In (Tindersticks 2nd album)

23. Can We Start Again? (Simple Pleasure)

22. The Hungry Saw (The Hungry Saw)

21. A Night So Still (The Something Rain)

20. Talk To Me (Tindersticks 2nd album)

19. No Place So Alone (The Hungry Saw)

18. CF GF (Falling Down A Mountain)

17. Bathtime (Curtains)

16. Boobar (The Hungry Saw)

15. Trouble Every Day (Trouble Every Day soundtrack)

14. The Other Side of the World (The Hungry Saw)

13. The Not Knowing (Tindersticks 1st album)

12. Drunk Tank (Tindersticks 1st album)

11. Buried Bones (Curtains)

10. Show Me Everything (The Something Rain)

9. Chilitetime (Can Our Love)

8. Marseilles Sunshine (originally released on the first Stuart A. Staples solo album but qualifies here beacuse it was re-recorded by Tindersticks for their Across Six Leap Years compilation)

7. City Sickness (Tindersticks 1st album)

6. Cherry Blossoms (Tindersticks 2nd album)

5. Sometimes It Hurts (Waiting for the Moon)

4. All The Love (The Hungry Saw)

3. Jism (Tindersticks 1st album)

2. Factory Girls (Falling Down a Mountain)

1. I Know That Loving (Simple Pleasures)

 

So there you have it.

It’d be a different list tomorrow of course. If you’re a Tindersticks fan then you’ll know that there are several officially released live albums and superior versions of most of these songs can be found on those, particularly the Bloomsbury Theatre and San Sebastian ones.

But what’s that I hear you say? Is there a pictogram to go with this? Funny you should ask.

 

Click picture for a bigger version

 

Not all these songs are on Spotify but here are the ones that are. (I think you will only see this if you’re logged in to Spotify)

 

Thanks to @musesfan2 @_sandywishart @WillieMcalpine @INeedDirection @indieover40 @maffrj and @jones_jamie for contributing to the orginal Twitter thread.

 

Related posts:

 

Live review podcast: Indietracks Festival, Derbyshire (28th – 30th July 2017)

You can keep yer Coachellas and  yer Glastonburys. The world’s greatest festival happens every July in an old trainyard in Derbyshire. With owls.

Still suffering from their post-Indietracks comedown, the wizards Chorizo and Rebel got together on Monday night to review the weekend’s jollities and play a few songs from some of the bands we loved there.

Blimey, they even wrote a song about the festival which you can hear at the end, recorded in one take by the way because we’re lo-fi purists.

Listen to the podcast right here or on Soundcloud below.

Here are the songs played on the podcast, click on the links to buy them:

  • No Moon – Chorusgirl (from the album Chorusgirl)
  • Wonderboys – Pillow Queens (from the Calm Girls EP)
  • On Tiptoes (Marc Riley session version) – Crumbs (from the album Mind Yr Manners)
  • No-One – Peaness (from the No Fun EP)
  • Barcode Punk – Milky Wimpshake (from the album Bus Route To Your Heart)
  • Straight Lines – Shopping (from the single Straight Lines)
  • It Only Works Because You’re Here – MJ Hibbett & The Validators (from the album Regardez Ecoutez Repetez)
  • Margot – Charmpit (from the Jelly EP)
  • If You Don’t Pull – The Just Joans (from the Love & Other Hideous Accidents EP)
  • Strange Fruit For David – The Wave Pictures (from the album Instant Coffee Baby)
  • I Was Born on the Wrong Day – Cate Le Bon (from the album Crab Day)
  • Get Down to Indietracks – Rebel Rikkit and Chorizo Garbanzo (recorded in one take like the true lo-fi purists we are and unavailable elsewhere thankfully!)

There were another couple of bands that we saw some of who we totally forgot to mention in the podcast, so many apologies to Enderby’s Room and Baby Arms who were both great. We’ll play tracks by both of them on our next podcast to make up for it.

Have a look at some of our photos from the weekend below but also check out these far better photos by Matthew Schwartz and read this great article by Pete Darrington explaining why this festival is so special.

Also check our Youtube channel over the next few days for some videos.

 

Other related podcasts: 

Friday photos:

Saturday photos:

Sunday photos:

Podcast 78: Rock and Roll Royalty

Henry VIII opens this podcast assisted by his most trusted Minister Thomas Cromwell broadcasting from all the way back in 1536 (as up to date as ever then Ed).

The Greatest Song Writing Partnership of All Time?

To embrace the regal theme the wizards choose the rock and roll royal family as well as playing new releases, reviewing gigs and setting us all up for the 2017 Indietracks Festival.

Dear Listener, click here to listen or down there for the full soundcloud experience.

 

 

Track listing, Notes and References

  • 2 Minutes: Delta 5, Mind Your Own Business Find out more here
  • 6 Minutes: Herman Hermits, I’m Henry The VIII (see The Hermits punk Medley here)
  • 11 Minutes: The Creature Comfort, 1,000 Miles (buy here )
  • 13 Minutes: Charmpit, Free the Burbs (buy here)

  • 20 Minutes: Debate to choose Rock and Roll Royal Family
  • 27 Minutes: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Vomit Coffin (buy here)
  • 30 Minutes:King Tubby,Woodham Slide
  • 37 Minutes: Radiohead post OK Computer debate and gig review
  • 46 Minutes:Radiohead, Daydreaming
  • 55 Minutes:Billy Momo, Seven Rivers Wild (buy here)
  • 59 Minutes:Gisele Pape, Moissonner (buy here)

  • 70 Minutes: Come on down to the Indie Tracks festival (Tickets till available here)
  • 77 Minutes: Model Village, Time To Share (buy here)
  • 80 Minutes: Garden Centre, Scrap Yard (buy here)

 

Podcast 77: I Find That Offensive!

The Wizards turn their attention to offence in music and introduce guidance to assist the more timid amongst us with the “Offenceometer” to warn more fragile souls when adult themes are present.

They cover all areas of offence including sex, drugs, violence, language and wonder if those things offend anymore. Yet note that ideas are much more offensive than words. Then in a misguided turn they go in search of the most offensive song ever and make disturbing findings.

To hear this coherently argued thesis (Ed: Steady On!) just click here or the Soundcloud thing down there.

 

And if you enjoy this kind of thing be sure to check out our Swearing Special podcast from 2013 because it’s fucking great.

Tracklisting, notes and references: (Spoiler alert!)

  • 1 minute: Jamie West, I Am Just a Pop Song [Buy Album]
  • 4 minutes: Trio, Da Da Da
  • 10 minutes: The Sex Organs, Lubrication. [Buy album]
  • 13 minutes: The Scars, Horrorshow [Big Gold Dream documentary no longer on BBC Iplayer but this playlist is]
  • 24 minutes: Bomb The Bass, Bug Powder Dust (featuring Justin Warfield)
  • 29 Minutes: Coloringbook, Tripping Dove (Offensive? video below)

  • Offense in music debate sparked by the campaign to remove the Anti Nowhere League from the rebellion festival.  Wherever you stand on this issue you can vote to exclude the band here and vote to keep them in here 
  • Is Lou Reed Transphobic? Read more here
  • 45 minutes: The Anti Nowhere League, So What (The band confirm that they are still on the bill for Rebellion Festival that runs between 3 and 6th August in Blackpool)
  • 52 minutes: Sleaford Mods, Dull [buy album]
  • 55 minutes: Jackal Trades, Celebrity Mourning is the New Rock and Roll. [buy album]
  • 67 minutes: Playboy Manbaby, Cadillac Car [buy album]
  • 70 minutes: the search for the most offensive song ever made. Examples below (watch at your own risk):

 

 

Kicker’s Quarterly – July 2017

You’d’ve thought that with more time on his hands as a part-time wizard our Kicker would have found some interesting music for his latest mix. And you’d be right. Possibly. I guess you’ll be the judge of that.

62212

So, without either further ado or anything remotely Prince or U(gh)2-like, let’s see what has been on the O’Elves turntable over the last few months.

When You’re Lifted By The Lie

  1. Meursalt – I Will Kill Again (the title track from this year’s wonderful album – check it out!!)
  2. The Apples In Stereo – Go (from ‘The Discovery Of A World Inside The Moone’ from 2000)
  3. John MOuse – Happy I Am Not (from the fortunately not prophetic ‘The Death Of John MOuse’ (2014) – JM has an ace new single out that is hopefully a precursor to a new album.)
  4. Johnnie Taylor – Changes (see the video below – it’s not a cover version!)
  5. Robyn Hitchcock – I Want To Tell You About What I Want (from the remarkably great self-titled LP that came out a couple of months ago – one of his best.)
  6. Denim – Here Is My Song For Europe (Ah, Lawrence.)
  7. The Foreign Films – Teardrop Town (The groove on this completely outweighs the poor grammar – every fool knows prepositions are followed by verbs in the form of present participles, right? Oh. Anyway, this slice of Canadian greatness comes courtesy of the late lamented Active Listener. Now inactive, I guess.)
  8. Tobin Sprout – A Walk Across The Human Bridge (the first new LP from Tobin for 10 years, and it’s a cracker: ‘The Universe And Me’.)
  9. Uncle Rico – Better Men (Funnily enough I’ve just been in Denmark, which is where our pal Henry Toft is from. Here he is in his avuncular guise.)
  10. The Pictish Trail – Dead Connection (I was lucky enough to catch the force of nature that is Johnny Lynch playing for a BBC Scotland recording recently, where this song from last year’s ‘Future Echoes’ was one of many highlights.)
  11. Lab Coast – For Now (Top band. They have just released a vinyl collection of those early cassettes called, er ‘Lab Coast’. They are the Canadian GBV. GBVeh?)
  12. Woof – Crud (From the excellent ‘Gone In 60 Sec Vol. 4‘ collection on the I Heart Noise label – 30 songs in 30 minutes; you do the mathS. Check out the bandcamp link below for this ace little instrumental.)
  13. Diet Cig – Apricots (Another new one – this from the ‘Swear I’m Good At This’ LP. They are.)
  14. MC Mabon – Tymheredd Yn Y Gwres (A Welsh Dexys? Maybe. This is from the compilation ‘Ankstmusik: Radio Crymi Playlist Vol 2 1998-2008’.)
  15. Guided By Voices – Unspirited (an oft overlooked gem from ‘Isolation Drills’ – #22 of 100 (soon to be 101).)
  16. Tim Chaplin – Burgundy Blues (from the EP of the same name that came out in March this year. Check out the bandcamp link below for this song and while you are there download Tim’s latest ‘Every Seventh Wave’ LP. Highly recommended.)
  17. The Goon Sax – Up To Anything (Another title track. Yeah, it’s Robert Forster’s lad. But, hey, it’s pretty damn great.)
  18. Simon Joyner – Fluoride (More proof ,as it is seemingly needed, that I do indeed know who Simon Joyner is. So, I was watching the bloke supporting The Burning Hell in Salford last year and he introduced a cover version by asking if anyone knew of Simon Joyner. Keen to join in with the audience participation I shouted ‘yes’ anticipating a crowd roar. Seems it was just me. The woman next to me, who I didn’t know, just looked disapprovingly at me and said ‘No, you don’t.’ Anyway, this is the first SJ song I heard – John Peel played it and highlighted the brilliance of the line ‘Take me to the room where my angels twist … and shout.’ It’s still one of my favourites. Funnily enough I have recently been in correspondence with Simon as at one stage it looked like I might be able to help sort him a gig in Liverpool. Lovely fella. No, really, I have. I have….
  19. Trust Fund – Seance (The always brilliant Trust Fund with a track from an EP that came out 4 years ago called ‘Don’t Let Them Begin’. No doubt there’ll be a new album out shortly. There usually is.)
  20. Giant Sand – (Well) Dusted (For The Millenium) (from ‘Chore Of Enchantment’ and very possibly my favourite GS song.)

Most of those tracks are available here:

And those that aren’t, are here:

It was 30 years ago today: U2, The Joshua Tree Tour at Wembley Stadium, 13th June 1987

On 13th June 1987, U2 played Wembley Stadium on The Joshua Tree tour.

I was a wide-eyed 16 year old and it was the 4th gig I ever went to. I’ve interviewed some of my mates from West Sussex who were there with me that day to see what we remembered of it all.

The gig we saw was 11 months after Live Aid? What do you remember about Live aid and U2’s performance in particular?

[Jarrod] I remember both Live Aid and U2 – iconic events when most musos around our age look back. I remember Live Aid because my dad had invited family around – the event started in the afternoon and it was a good chance for me to slope off and listen to the opening act! It was also something about seeing Wembley Stadium full, both in the stands and on the pitch, crowds like that I’d never seen before. Did the Quo open Live Aid? I seem to recall that – I also remember of course Queen, the live feed with the US which was novel in those days, and the Phil Collins Concorde trip to perform at both. I do remember U2 at Live Aid and the Geldof rant. Plus Madonna, I loved Madonna when I was 16/17.

[Neil] I remember The Style Council seeming to be a little quiet after Status Quo, Phil Collins on Concorde,  Geldof swearing on live TV,  Bowie.  U2 were awesome. One of the highlights.  Bono seemed in his element.  Had the crowd eating out of his hand. There always seem to be lots of rather large flags when U2 played, and I’m sure Live Aid was no exception.  Bad was phenomenal!!  Their set was great,  but Bad was the standout,  unforgettable.  I think he went into some cover versions at the end of Bad, perhaps Rolling Stones. [Chorizo: he’s right you know, Bono sung lines from Ruby Tuesday and Sympathy for the Devil] I had a bootleg tape of the concert that I got from Camden Market.  The quality wasn’t great, but still used to play it a lot in the car.

[Ralphy] I don’t remember a lot about Live Aid. Only Freddie Mercury geeing up the crowd and Bob Geldof swearing on TV. “Give us your fucking money”

[Pompey Mike] I think U2 ended up playing longer than they were supposed to. Can’t really remember what they played but would imagine it probably included stuff from Unforgettable Fire, so Pride etc? I think at the time Mr Bono was pre-sunglasses but definitely wearing black boots. I bought myself a pair around this time. I don’t think I was as cool as Mr Bono. This may have had something to do with wearing the boots with a red white and blue ski-jacket. Or possibly something to do with just not being cool. Think he jumped down from the stage and pulled some girl out of the audience but I might be making that up.

[Richard, Chorizo’s brother] U2, Queen and Madonna were my standout moments plus didn’t George Michael sing with Elton John Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.

[Chorizo] It was quite a sunny day because I remember we moved the telly so we could sit in the garden and watch it. I was disappointed that The Style Council didn’t play for longer! Loved Elvis Costello’s All You Need Is Love. But I was nuts about U2 back then so the whole day was basically just building up to U2. I remember being a bit confused about what the hell was going on when Bono went on walkabout in Bad to get those girls out of the crowd. The Who were great too, I’d never heard Won’t Get Fooled Again before I saw them do it at Live Aid. I also remember Madonna. Of course we were all in love Madonna. We were teenage boys.

Madonna at Live Aid in Philadelphia and simultaneously causing a commotion with the youth of far away West Sussex

The Joshua Tree album had been out for 4 months when we went to the gig. Did you know the songs really well?

[Neil] Yep.  I think we’d all been playing it nonstop since it came out.

[Jarrod] I first heard it in our school RE lesson!

[Ralphy] Knew them all really well. Sang along enthusiastically.

[Chorizo] I was properly obsessed with U2 back then so I got the train to Guildford on the day it came out to buy the album. Pretty sure some of you came with me too? I also remember the week it came out they were on Whistle Test. They played In God’s Country which was kind of alright but then they played Exit which was just fucking amazing.


[Richard] Knew about 3 of them very well, the ones everyone knows. Heard you playing it a lot though.

[Pompey Mike] Pretty well by the time of the gig. I bought it on one of those big black round discs that the kids used to buy. I seem to remember them all standing in a desert, black and white photography and I imagine some sort of headgear is in evidence.

No internet back then so any idea how you got a ticket?

[Ralphy] That’s a really fuckin good question. No fuckin idea!

[Pompey Mike] Don’t know but I would guess your dad may have had something to do with it.

[Neil] Pretty sure someone’s mum with a credit card.

[Richard] Didn’t you sort it out?

[Chorizo] I think we made some of our parents drive us down to Brighton early one morning to get tickets from the box office round the back of the Brighton Centre.

What can you remember about the support acts?

[Richard] If you told me I would remember but I can’t at the mo.

[Pompey Mike] Mmmmm. Pogues? Wasn’t into them at this stage which is why I don’t remember. But it also might be that I don’t remember because it wasn’t them. Lou Reed? Pretty sure he was there. Again, wasn’t into him either so little springs to mind. Some other band as well but I can’t even remember their name let alone anything about them.

[Neil] My memory’s a bit shaky, but seem to remember Lou Reed, Lone Justice and The Pogues.

[Chorizo] Maria McKee from Lone Justice was an amazing frontwoman. I bought their album Shelter on tape after seeing them here. I’d already taped Rum Sodomy and the Lash off Neil. I remember we jumped around a bit to them. Lou Reed was really boring.

[Ralphy] I remember “Ship of Fools” by World Party and “Brass in Pocket” by The Pretenders and Chrissie Hynde shaking her arse at the crowd.

[Chorizo: this means Ralphy actually went to see U2 at Wembley the day before the rest of us did. He went with some other mates of ours but we can’t remember who.]

What can you remember about U2 that day? Do any moments particularly stand out?

[Ralphy] I remember “Where the Streets Have No Name” being the opening song. They pretty much played the whole album and the hits from the others. There were no video screens so Bono was really small. I remember being pretty pumped by the whole experience of Wembley.

[Setlist for the gig Ralphy saw here.]

[Richard] Lots of plastic pint glasses full of piss being thrown around. That was a new experience for me. I can remember exactly where we were on the pitch. Near the front and on the left. I think Bono wore blue tinted glasses. But mainly I remember all the pissy showers.

[Chorizo] They opened with a cover of Stand By Me and they played a slowed down version of The Beatles Help. Other than that can’t remember much else. There’d been a General Election quite recently which the dreaded “Thatch” had won. Seem to remember Bono making a few comments about that which went down very well.

On our way out of the gig, we were trying to work out where on the pitch certain famous Wembley goals had been scored and then re-enacting them. We did all the big hits. Ricky Villa, Geoff Hurst “some people are on the pitch”, Alan Sunderland with his big afro etc

[Pompey Mike] I remember thinking they were awesome although I don’t remember that much, definitely enjoyed it though. Long encore I think and the last song I’m pretty sure was “40” and the band left the stage one by one until it was just that Larry Mullen fella bashing his drums. A few cover versions I think but I might be mistaken. I thought Mr Bono had a great voice. I may even have been wearing my black Mr Bono boots although it was in the summer so maybe not. I think it was the first gig I had been to where people were pissing in plastic bottles and then chucking it over everyone else. Fortunately I was neither the pisser nor the pissee. Which is nice.

[Neil] I remember that we got a fairly decent spot in the crowd. Even though we were in a big stadium,  we could see the stage and bands really well.  A great day out.  Don’t remember too much though.  Although seem to remember Bullet the Blue Sky being incredible. Lots of searchlights and special effects. I think I had a T-shirt with those lyrics on that day.  “Outside it’s America” He changed the lyrics at the end “into the arms of Margaret Thatcher”!  Brilliant.

[Jarrod] The gig was excellent- although in the middle of the crowd I remember jumping up and down like a loon! Beer was relatively easy to access, the toilets were miles away! “Where the Streets Have No Name” was the highlight for me. The light staging was great, the sky was dimming, I was with my mates and I loved that track.

[The setlist we saw is here.]

Tell me about any other times you’ve seen U2 live.

[Ralphy] Saw U2 on 360 tour a few years back. Amazing.

[Neil] We saw the Achtung Baby tour at Wembley as well.  I remember him ringing Kosovo and the Big Heads! The stage had those odd Trabant cars hanging down.  They had a booth where fans could go in before the gig and record their messages.  I just remember this one person smoking a huge spliff and blowing the smoke towards the camera.  Another great gig.

[Pompey Mike] Saw them once more, Zooropa tour with you and Neil.

[Chorizo] Yep, that one you’re talking about was the best U2 gig  I’ve been to. They were playing the Achtung Baby / Zooropa songs which I love and 24 years on I still don’t think I’ve seen any gig as visually astounding as that. PJ Harvey was supporting too and playing lots of the “Rid of Me” album. Seen them twice more since then, went to Earls Court in 2001 but it wasn’t very good. Then, thanks to an unbelievable slice of good fortune which I should probably write about in full on this site sometime, Mrs Garbanzo and I were given free tickets to see them in the MGM Arena in Las Vegas on the last night of our honeymoon. Bono was at his sanctimonious worst for much of that gig and they played quite a lot of songs I don’t particularly like. But… but… but.. Mary J. Blige man! The highlight of the gig, and indeed one of the most amazing things I’ve seen in 30+ years of gig-going, was when Mary J. Blige came on for “One” and sang it like this.

What do you think of The Joshua Tree now? Do you have any kind of physical copy in your home right now?

[Richard] Nope. Don’t have it anymore.

[Ralphy] I still like it. Don’t have a copy any more. Think I bought it on cassette. Doh.

[Chorizo] Still got the vinyl I bought on the day it came out and I’ve also got it on CD. I thought I had “With or Without You” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” on 7 inch. But I just went to look for them and they’re not there which means I’ve Ebayed them.

[Neil] I still remember it fondly.  A bloody good album.  This chat has prompted me to give it a listen after all these years. The vinyl is in my dad’s attic where it’s been awaiting transportation to New Zealand for the last fourteen years. Really must get that sorted…

[Jarrod] Still got it on vinyl. I have a lifetime top 10 albums – Joshua Tree is in it along with Doolittle, The Queen is Dead, Substance, Seventeen Seconds, Heaven or Las Vegas, Love (The Cult), The Bends, Leftism & The Stone Roses.

[Pompey Mike] I have a big box of vinyl in the basement including Joshua Tree. I will have a cheeky look in a minute as I think I also have the CD somewhere.  I haven’t got round to putting them in the basement yet as I am not a downloader person. Still like it although I can’t remember the last time I listened to it but I think it’s still a good record. Or CD. Or downloady thing.

U2 30 years on again again

“couldn’t get in the loft to find the vinyl version but I’ve got it on Spotify!”

Favourite song on The Joshua Tree?

[Chorizo] Favourite is Exit, 2nd favourite Where the Streets Have No Name

[Ralphy] Where the Streets have No Name is one of the best album opening tracks of all time. (There’s an idea for a segment!)

[Pompey Mike] Dunno. With or without you? Bit predictable I suppose but Mr Bono sounds good on that. I can’t sing it to save my life. Is there one called Exit as well? I think that was good too.

[Richard] With or Without You

[Neil] I really like Bullet the Bullet Sky because it’s different to the others.  But I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For and With or Without You are hard to beat.  One Tree Hill has more of a relevance with me now because we often go walking up the actual One Tree Hill in Auckland.

Do you still buy U2’s music? If not at what point did you lose interest?

[Ralphy] I don’t buy U2’s music. Haven’t since Rattle and Hum which I didn’t particularly like.

[Neil] Not much past Pop I’m afraid.  I got that free album they released on iTunes (as did just about everyone else presumably) but never really gave it a good listen.

[Chorizo] Rattle and Hum is pretty crap apart from All I Want Is You which is up there with their very best songs. I really like Achtung Baby, Zooropa and Pop. Especially the last 2 tracks on Pop. I own the next 2 albums after that, but I only like about 3 songs on each of them. Didn’t buy anything after that.

[Jarrod] Joshua Tree was the last U2 album I ever bought. I guess most critics would say arguably it’s their best work!? I liked War, The Unforgettable Fire but then it seemed U2 got too big, maybe too commercial and I lost interest a little.

[Pompey Mike] Pretty much lost interest permanently after Zooropa. And then got annoyed when their album appeared on my phone without me even asking.

Favourite U2 song?

[Neil] Bad or Sunday Bloody Sunday or Pride or One

[Richard] Bad

[Chorizo] Bad, Until the End of the World and All I Want Is You. But honourable mentions to New Years Day and Sunday Bloody Sunday, the 2 songs that made me such a fanatic in the first place. They’ve been opening their gigs on this current “The Joshua Tree 2017” tour with those 2 same songs. The old “band coming on one at a time” trick is still a brilliant way to start a gig.

What other gigs you went to around that time stand out in your memory?

[Neil] Sorry, all a bit of a blur!

[Ralphy] The late 80s was gig heaven. The Pogues, The Alarm, Billy Bragg, Style Council, Pixies…

[Richard] Big Country at Wembley Arena, top gig!

[Pompey Mike] Who else was I seeing at the time? Probably The Alarm quite a lot. In those days I remember being quite upset that they didn’t have massively big hits and get to number 1 all the time, or indeed ever. Things like that were important then. I do remember leaving what I think was my fifth Alarm gig and deciding that I hadn’t really enjoyed it and I never saw them again or bought any more records.

[Chorizo] I remember that exact gig. It was at the Kilburn National Ballroom. All of us came out of that gig feeling the same way. Up to that point The Alarm had been one of our favourite bands. But then after that gig, we all simultaneously came to the same conclusion, that they were shit. It must’ve left us feeling a bit empty inside and we had no capability of dealing with those kind of complicated feelings because we smashed up the train compartment on the way home and threw all the light bulbs out of the windows. That wasn’t really the kind of thing we usually did!

The difficult 3rd album!

[Pompey Mike again] Housemartins at Portsmouth Guildhall, Billy Bragg soon after and a lot. And of course the mighty Wedding Present many many times. However first gig was Sister Sledge at Brighton Centre. At various stages since, this has been embarrassing/cool/embarrassing/cool quite a few times.

[Chorizo] All the ones already mentioned. The Pogues many times, Billy Bragg many times, The Wedding Present many times. The Waterboys! Depeche Mode! Green on Red! 10,000 Maniacs!

One that particularly stands out for some reason is The Style Council at Crawley Leisure Centre. It wasn’t a particularly good gig. In fact it was shit. Weller wasn’t even playing guitar at gigs by that point and the venue was a fucking leisure centre. But never mind the actual gig, I remember it being a fucking great day out. Bloody loads of us went to that and we had a right good piss up!

[Pompey Mike] My actual gig memory is so hazy but there are a few key things I will never forget about those gigs. I remember seeing the Pixies at Portsmouth Guildhall and everyone was leaving at the end of the gig when they came back on and played Wave of Mutilation with all the lights still on. That was awesome. But most stuff I forget. Getting old I suppose. But still a lot younger than fucking Phil Collins. Fuck off Phil.

Do you think that music / gigs / experiences you had during your formative teenage years influence you for the whole of your life?

[Richard] For the big events it definitely does. The Beautiful South gig we went to at that time is a big one. Seeing you sing “The Tracks of My Tears” with your band in back room of The Crown is a big one for me too!

[Chorizo] I think my outlook and my politics are all still hugely influenced by the music of my youth (and Musical Youth)

[Pompey Mike] I think most bands are important to you for certain periods and then become an irrelevance at some point after those formative years. But then the older you get the more permanent your tastes become…I think. But is it because they “lose it” or we just change? Was Mr Bono really heroic and he then became a cock? Or was he a cock all along? He got all preachy and sunglassey all the time. It’s raining Mr Bono, take the fucking things off!

However….

U2 and Mr Bono : nah, not any more.

Billy Bragg: not really. Still love the old stuff though.

Weller : in and out. Watch a lot of him on YouTube, but only for modern takes on old songs.  Check him out doing a pared down version of “Ghosts”, takes me right back to the good old days.

The Wedding Present / Natalie Merchant – always!

Podcast 76: One Of Our Wizards Is Missing

Only 2 Wizards on the show as rumours of the death of Kicker O Elves continue to be denied.

The remaining Wizards struggle on, reflecting on how Chuck Prophet plays guitar solos with a duck walking head? How do you construct a Eric Clapton compilation that would keep anyone awake and how to navigate East Sussex?

What nonsense you say! And your right and you can listen to it here and down below.

Physicality! Not Arf!

6 pounds worth of prime Tremolo Ghost

Chuck all badged up!

Does this machine kill fascists?

Top Timbre

Live review: Gigantic Festival, Manchester Academy 27th May 2017

In August 2010 a couple of days before my 40th birthday, I persuaded some of my oldest mates to accompany me to some place called Holmfirth in Yorkshire to see The Wedding Present play their album “Bizarro” in full. Since then, we’ve been using Wedding Present gigs as an excuse to get together because, to quote an early songtitle, you should always keep in touch with your friends. We’ve seen them play several other albums in full now: “Seamonsters” “Hit Parade” and their most recent one “Going Going…”

Hard to believe that the band’s debut album “George Best” came out 30 years ago. It certainly doesn’t seem that long ago that I first heard it on the player cassette of a rickety old Lancia Y10 owned by my good friend Mr Fingers. The two of us set off in a slightly more reliable car to Manchester’s Academy to re-live our teenage years at the one day festival known as Gigantic.

We arrived halfway through Mark Morriss out of The Bluetones performance and just as we finished buying our pints he started introducing their big hit “Slight Return.” He made a few amusing comments about the song getting airplay on Heart FM and earning him enough money to keep him in trainers for all 17 of his children. It’s a good song but The Bluetones made quite a few that were even better. One of those was the magnificent “If” which closed the set today and left me wondering (just like it did when it came out) why this song with its inventive chord progressions and singalong “na na na na” ending wasn’t a mahusive hit.

It would’ve been good to hear some more songs off The Bluetones second, and in my opinion, best album “Return to the Last Chance Saloon”, in particular “Sleazy Bed Track” and “Down to the Reservoir.” Although to be fair, he may well have already played those before we got there. Could’ve lived without the Elton John cover but overall what we did see was thoroughly enjoyable and seeing him for the first time I was pleasantly surprised by how funny he was. Mr Fingers commented afterwards “I’d forgotten how many of their songs I knew”, something which became a bit of a recurring theme of the day.

Mark Morriss out of The Bluetones @ Gigantic festival, Manchester Academy 27th May 2017

In contrast, the next band were one I saw many times “back in the day” and then saw again last year at The Deaf Institute just up the road from here. Mr Fingers was with me at one of those gigs (Aldershot Buzz Club 1990) a gig we both remember as being, like every gig at that much-missed venue, FUCKING LOUD.

Thousand Yard Stare were the first band I ever saw where the bandmembers were the same age as me and, unsurprisingly, they still are. Like Mr Fingers, some of the band have considerably less hair these days (i.e. none at all) but apart from that not a lot has changed. Singer Stephen’s voice still sounds just as great and he still restlessly prowls the stage doing a lot of pointing and gesturing incomprehensibly during the lengthy instrumental sections. The rhythm section (Dominic drums, Sean bass and most importantly Kevin on guitar) are still fucking brilliant, particularly on the many songs that use *that* beat. You know the beat I mean, the Funky Drummer “baggy” that was on so many indie tunes in late 80s / early 90s. Think “Joe” by Inspiral Carpets and 3 songs that were highlights of today’s set, “Keepsake” “Buttermouth” and debut single “Weatherwatching.”

At The Deaf Institute last year, I was standing right in front of Kevin and Sean but this time around I found myself front row directly in front of Giles on guitar. This meant I got to see some fantastic guitar hero antics up close, including the great riffs that open new song “Heimlich Maneuver”, old favourite “0-0 a.e.t.” and my personal favourite the funky intro to the aforementioned “Keepsake.”

 

Thousand Yard Stare @ Gigantic festival, Manchester Academy 27th May 2017

Got to admit that before going to The Deaf Institute gig last year, I did have a few doubts. Were my memories of Thousand Yard Stare gigs the first time around recalled through the rose-tinted prism of youth? Was it just wistful nostalgia for my lost youth? After all, nobody else I knew seemed to remember them with the same enthusiasm that I did. Was it possible that I just got caught up in the general excitement of the times and in actual fact, Thousand Yard Stare were *gasp* not all that good? That Manchester gig last year kicked my stupid doubts up the arse and this gig gave them a further kick in the bollocks to go with it. Thousand Yard Stare were and are fucking brilliant.

 

Before the next band came on, Mr Fingers was telling me how one of his teenage daughters plays drums and has been learning to play Ramones and Blondie songs. Well surely The Primitives would be the ultimate band for her. They are basically Debbie Harry fronting The Ramones with a little bit of 60s girl group thrown into the mix. Both of us saw them play at Portsmouth Guildhall in 1989, a gig that neither of us could recall a single thing about apart from the fact that the moshpit was full on chaos (but not as rough as the “wrecking” at the Pogues gigs we used to go to back then!) I saw The Primitives again last summer headlining the best small festival around, Going Up the Country in Congleton where I think they were even better!

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Here in Manchester they were excellent again. Tracey Tracey as effortlessly cool now as she was 28 years ago. Drummer Tig Williams is clearly a man who loves his work. He plays drums like there’s nothing else going on in the room, totally into what he’s playing and 100% “in the zone.” We particularly enjoyed “Really Stupid” “Way Behind Me” and of course “Crash.” The only disappointment was that they weren’t on for longer! There was some kind of disagreement between the bandmembers about what song they were playing next and then off they went.

As well as the old tunes, I recommend their 2012 album “Echoes and Rhymes” where they play 14 fuzzed up versions of obscure 60s songs. A delight for all you crate digging punk rockers out there.

Earlier in the day Mark Morriss had advised the crowd to pace ourselves with our drinking so we made it through the whole day. Not an issue for us because we were both driving but pacing ourselves energywise still an issue for us mid-40s indie rock fans. We knew that we wanted to be down the front and jumping around for the whole of the “George Best” album later but that was more than 3 hours away so in the meantime we had to strike the right balance. We needed to plan ahead so we got to spend the requisite amount of time inside and outside the venue whilst also scheduling in an intake of additional energy in the form of unhealthy fried snacks. There were plenty of seats available outside in the smoking area but extended spells spent there could get a bit chilly because we had of course adhered to Indie Gig Going Rule Number 1 (don’t bring a coat). Incidentally in the rules of Prog Rock Gig Going this is known as the Phil Collins Directive (no jacket required)


Inside the venue it was substantially warmer but that meant standing up for 3 hours which wasn’t very appealing. The end result of all this was that we only saw bits of the next 3 acts. We only saw a song and a half of Pop Will Eat Itself but that was probably enough to be honest. As much as I used to enjoy dancing to the Stooges-aping “Def Con One” and “There Is No Love Between Us Anymore” in south coast indie discos back then, I never felt compelled to buy any of their records and in truth I’ve never really understood the appeal of a vastly inferior West Midlands version of the Beastie Boys. But what do I know? There were probably more PWEI T-shirts here than any other band and the majority of the crowd were loving it so maybe it’s me that just Can’t Dig It.


Next up was Jimbob (James Robert to his mother) from Carter. Mr Fingers reminded me of how back when I used to work in Guildford HMV, I used to take the piss out of blazer wearing kids from local public schools who’d come in to the shop asking “Got any Car’er?” as if they’d been brought up on the mean streets of SW16. I told Fingers how in the early 2000s after the Unstoppable Sex Machine had er, stopped, my band played a gig in Crystal Palace Bowl supporting JimBob’s post-Carter band who were named after some trickily pronounced Eastern European cyclist. (Post gig Googling reveals that the band were called Abdoujaparov and JimBob isn’t in that band at all, it’s the other bloke from Carter!)

Both of us had owned Carter stuff on tape, since consigned to who knows where long before hipsters started buying music on tapes again! I have the CD single of “Rubbish” (which includes a great cover of Pet Shop Boys “Rent”) but largely the timing of Carter USM’s most popular music meant that we’d bought a lot of it on tape just before we’d started buying most of our music on CD and never got around to re-purchasing on CD. The end result of that is that we haven’t listened to them for nearly a quarter of a century!! That phrase “I’d forgotten how many of their songs I knew” was back out again because in fact we remembered pretty much every song he played.

Back in their heyday, Billy Bragg had a joke he used regularly at his gigs:”If there are any Carter fans in tonight and you’re wondering what that is, it’s called a drummer!” The trademark Carter cheap drum machine was such a key part of their DIY punk racket that you wouldn’t think the songs would work in acoustic form. The reason why they do is all down to the lyrics, densely packed with wonderfully creative puns and wordplay, packed pop culture references. It’s like early 80s Costello rewritten by Kanye. The last few songs were especially memorable as JimBob led the crowd as they sang along boisterously. I’d forgotten what great songs “Shopper’s Paradise” and “Lean On Me, I Won’t Fall Over”. There was a massed singalong with outsider anthem and genuine hit single “The Only Living Boy In New Cross” followed by musical showstopper “The Impossible Dream” which ended with the “you’re wonderful, give me your hands” bit from Bowie’s “Rock n Roll Suicide,” before ending with the inevitable and still brilliant “Sheriff Fatman”

Next up were EMF. Once again, I’d owned their only album “Schubert Dip” on tape and never got around to replacing it with a CD version so hadn’t listened to it in decades. With some UV lighting onstage, the band certainly looked the part. Out of all the bands playing today, EMF were the only ones who were still dressed like it was still 1991. They looked ready to spend the rest of the evening necking disco biscuits in a field somewhere just off the M25.

EMF @ Gigantic festival, Manchester Academy 27th May 2017. Check out those shorts!

Singer James Atkins (a music teacher these days as this video shows) was wearing a “JACK YOUR BODY” t-shirt and a pair of knee length shorts in a fetching combination of camouflage and luminous orange.  I suddenly felt nostalgic for a pair just like them that I bought in Camden Market and wore to Glastonbury in the early 90s. Guitarist Ian Dench played some great wah wah drenched guitar solos while sporting a spectacular beard and Global Hypercolour type tshirt. He’s still a very successful songwriter who’s written a few for Beyoncé.

Of course the crowd went the most crazy for “Unbelievable” but follow up single “I Believe” was also great. My favourite song of the set was “I Haven’t Seen You for a Long Time” (oh how I miss those luminous orange shorts!) which featured some quality old school Italo house piano. Bangin’!

JimBob came back onstage to help them their final song, their theme song that goes “E, Ecstasy, M Motherfuckers M motherfuckers, F From us to you.” Earlier on in the day I’d tried explaining this song and what the EMF stood for to Mr Fingers as he looked back at me dubiously.

On to the main event then. The “semi legendary Wedding Present” as David Gedge puts it. Just had time to queue up for some chips and then scoff them during the opening songs which were a couple of favourites from relatively recent albums, “Broken Bow” from last years epic double album and total masterpiece “Going Going…” (listen to our review of that album here) and “Deer Caught in the Headlights” from 2012’s “Valentina” which features a brilliant cymbal-crashing instrumental section and is always a live favourite.

Then another from “Going Going…”, my favourite track in fact entitled “Fifty Six”, a song you can hear in full on my Best of 2016 podcast. As discussed in that podcast, the second half of the song builds and builds and builds but until tonight I’d never noticed that bass player Danielle plays a grand total of 1 note for the whole of this section (it’s a D in case you were wondering!)

Another of my back catalogue favourites came up next, the magnificent Crawl from the flawless “3 Songs” EP followed by an instrumental “England” from the recent “Home Internationals” EP released on Record Store Day. By this time, Mr Fingers and me had made our way down to the front and just had time to make the comment that it was all very calm around there before Gedge intoned the immortal words that start the album “Oh why do you…” Those words were like some kind of dog whistle. And they’re off! Suddenly the pogoing started and carried on from here until the end of the set. Get a feel for how it was down there from these 2 videos I took.

It seems pointless to try and pick out highlights from “George Best” because all of it was, of course, fantastic. I took a tactical retreat from the moshpit during the breakneck “Shatner” (ironically introduced with the words “We’re going to slow things down a bit now”) before heading further forwards again for the rest of the album.

After “George Best”, 2 of the band’s best known songs “Brassneck” and “Kennedy” were played for an uncharacteristically crowd-pleasing finale.

Before “Brassneck”, Gedge spoke movingly about his affection for this city he grew up in and dedicated the song to all those affected by the Manchester bomb a few days ago. The last time The Wedding Present played this venue was the day after the Eagles of Death Metal gig in Paris was attacked. Surreal and horrifying to think of people being attacked while at gigs because these are events which celebrate community and shared experience.  During “Kennedy”, some bloke just in front of me lost his glasses and half a dozen of us did the time-honoured gig thing of linking arms to stop others from falling on him while he found them. Community you see. We might spend most of the gig deliberately shoving and jumping into each but when necessary we join together to help each other. We take care of our own. Both tonight and last time at this venue, lots of people were shaking hands with, hugging and thanking the security staff as they were leaving. Brassneck indeed.

Post-gig post-script:

As usual David Gedge was manning his own merchandise stand and I bought this CD at the gig. This is the whole George Best album re-recorded with Steve Albini live in his Chicago studio in 2008.

If there’s a fault with the original album, it is that the production sounds a bit dated now. It’s tightly compressed and everything sounds a bit too trebly. This new(er) recording actually sounds far better and has a lot more bite. Highly recommended listening.

 

I also took the opportunity to ask him what’s going on with the lyrics of the song “Soup” where the usual Gedgian tale of romantic intrigue and derring-do is interrupted with a seemingly unrelated shouty chorus where the phrase “no soup for you” is repeated.

Mr Gedge kindly explained that the soup thing is a reference to a grumpy chef in an episode of “Seinfeld” so that’s that mystery solved.

 

Related posts on this website:

We’re having a Snap! election

That’s right, we’re having a Snap! election.

The actual election is bringing on The Great Depression. The first Jam record I owned was Funeral Pyre. I bought Ghost Town by The Specials at the same time, from WH Smith in Aldershot in case you were wondering. (I know you weren’t)

I was 10 years old then and the depressing part of it is how relevant it remains 36 years later. “The weak get crushed as the strong grow stronger” just about sums it up.

Anyway, voting is easy you’ve got to do is pick your 3 favourite songs from The Jam’s classic compilation and vote for them below.

The kids know where it’s at.

 

Paul Weller speaking in 2016:

“People say, ‘Why don’t you write any more political songs?’ But I would just write exactly the same fucking things I wrote thirty-odd years ago. Every time they fire a missile in the Middle East, that’s £850,000, right? And then they talk about the NHS, fucking selling it off or it crumbling. So nothing’s really changed, has it?”

“kidney machines replaced by rockets and guns”

 

“bullshit is bullshit, it just goes by different names”

Podcast number 75 Mark E Smith Special (Part 2)

Back by lack of popular demand, the wizards return with this second (here’s part one if you missed it) show dedicated to the genius of Mark E Smith.

CcOu5puWEAE8AE2

This time they not only share a musical tribute to the great man, but also politely plough on with guest (informant) Will Neville’s Fall quiz and tell us how Will and Kicker first discovered Prestwich’s finest.

You can listen in (like a telephone thing) by clicking here or there:

Some of the physicality played and discussed on this show:

Podcast number 74 Mark E Smith Special (Part 1)

Showing scant regard for particular dates, but nevertheless wishing to respect the phenomenon that is Mark E Smith, the wizards come together to celebrate the great man’s 60 years of life and musical genius.

KoE Fall Collection

To assist them in maintaining the degree of accuracy they are rarely, er, rightly synonymous with, they have hauled in a proper journalist and all-round Fall expert in the form of Getitntothis‘s Will Neville. They also forced him to create a quiz. The bastards.

In this first part, of thankfully only two (Part Two is now available here), you get to hear how both Chorizo Garbanzo and Rebel Rikkit discovered The Fall and a whole bunch of Fall and Fall related music. And some terrible impressions. So, tune in immediately here and there:

Some of the physicality played and discussed on this show:

Q&A with Shaun Ponsonby (Prince special)

Dearly beloved…

After the sad and unexpected death of Prince a year ago, many fine tributes were paid to him. But nobody did a better job of honouring his unique talent than Merseyside radio presenter / journalist Shaun Ponsonby. He put together 6 exceptional 2 hour shows for the radio station KCC Live telling Prince’s story chronologically and as Shaun puts it “let the music do the talking telling his life story as he would’ve wanted it”

Prince at Paris Bercy Stadium, June 14, 1987. (AP Photo/Olivier Boitet)

We really can’t recommend these programmes highly enough, essential listening whether you’re a casual or hardcore Prince fan or even a newcomer to Prince’s music wanting to understand what all the fuss is about.

Here are links to his Prince shows followed by our interview with Shaun.

Shaun Ponsonby’s mug hidden by Prince’s mug on a mug

 

What was the first music you heard that got you interested in Prince?

I think if anything got me interested in Prince, it was his live performances. I was born in 1988, so I’m not old enough to have witnessed his commercial peaks. When I first became aware of him, he was a symbol and not being treated particularly well by the press. So I didn’t think much about him, he was just some weird dude. I liked 1999 when it was being blasted during the whole Millennium malarkey when that all went down, but I didn’t think much beyond that. It wasn’t until circa Musicology and 3121 when he started making more high profile appearances that I started understanding his depth, importance and sheer musicality. I kind of had him in the Michael Jackson/Madonna category before I learned more about him. I consume music in quite an obsessive way, and as soon as I become a fan of somebody, I dive in and learn everything, collect everything etc. So, I just got hooked.

Your shows provided a great balance between the 4 categories of Prince’s music output as defined by author Matt Thorne in his excellent (definitive?) book on Prince: officially released stuff, live recordings, unreleased material and side-projects with various proteges. There must be a lot of material that has never found its way out to the public. What have you never heard that you wish you could hear?

Up until recently, I’d have said The Flesh, but that finally leaked a year or two ago. Obviously Wally is something that we all really want to hear. I have always been fascinated by Wednesday. It was on an early running order for Purple Rain but was removed to make way for Take Me With U or something. I’m surprised that it has never leaked, given that it was so close to being on his biggest album.

Any tips on where people can get hold of the unreleased stuff?
Yeah, there is a great 30-something disc bootleg that basically collected together all the leaks up to that point. It has gone under two different names – “The Work” and a second version that adds a bit called “Work It 2.0”. That’s easy to find on bootleg sites (link here which may or may not work). Prince made it difficult to find bootlegs, but it also put a bit more sport into it. There is a site called Guitars 101 which has become my go-to place for boots. Prince was probably their most popular artist, but when he took a hardline on it they had to stop for fear of being sued. They now have a Prince request thread, where you post what you’re looking for and if someone has it, they will drop it to you in a private message.

I think your programmes, especially the last 2, did a great job of highlighting some of the less well known stuff.

Thank you, that does mean a lot.

So why do you think Prince lost so much of his audience after the early 90s?

I don’t think there is any one answer to this. I guess the obvious reason is the whole Warner Brothers fall-out. People didn’t understand what he was talking about. He was ahead of his time a bit there. Plus, he was selling stuff independently through the internet. I think Bowie was the only other artist doing that at the time, and people didn’t really know what to make of it. There are also the personal setbacks that he suffered, that I personally believe might have stifled his creativity a bit.

Some of the albums he was making were also either too much for a general audience (Emancipation), not designed for a general audience (Crystal Ball, N.E.W.S.), not what the public might have wanted from Prince at that time (The Truth) or the religious material was hard for people to stomach (The Rainbow Children). Come to think of it, I do wonder how much he really lost *his* audience. He might have lost the mainstream pop audience, but it seems as though the people who were really fans, and who were willing to go with him anywhere he was going to go musically did actually stick around, and he was able to utilise this when he went for his big comeback in 2004. I think Alan Leeds said “There are Prince fans, and there are Purple Rain fans.” I think that sounds about right.

Great quote that. So if someone is a newcomer to Prince’s music, one of those “Purple Rain” fans, what album would you recommend them listening to first to “get it”?

Oooh, that’s a tough one. I guess it depends what they’re into. There are so many different avenues to explore. If someone just liked the pop hits, I’d give them the likes of 1999 and Diamonds and Pearls, but if they liked things like Computer Blue, I’d get them into the likes of Sign “O” The Times. If they liked Darling Nikki, I’d go for Dirty Mind. If they went for Let’s Go Crazy, maybe The Gold Experience. Maybe I’d just show them some live performances! It is a tough one!

Purple Rain coaster, ideal for when you have to “Take Tea With U”

Do you think his insular lifestyle and individuality helped or hindered his music career commercially and/or artistically?

I think it depends on the project. If you want to have a big pop success, going all Howard Hughes is probably the wrong way to go about it. But at the same time I don’t think it made that much difference in the end. Given the success of Purple Rain in 1984, Sign “O” The Times was nowhere near as successful just three years later. But at the same time, was he even going for a huge, world conquering success with SOTT? I doubt it. And yet it was a huge artistic and critical success, and probably his definitive album. Similarly, he was able to pull out the Batman soundtrack and Diamonds and Pearls, which weren’t really huge critical successes, but sold bucketloads. With the exception of Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic I think when he actively tried to have commercial success, he was able to achieve it. Ultimately I see Prince as a creative cult artist who flirted with the mainstream at certain points in his career. It is interesting comparing Prince post-Purple Rain with Michael Jackson post-Thriller. Prince used Purple Rain to put him in a position where he could pretty much do what he wanted artistically. He used the Purple Rain money to build a massive studio complex so he could achieve what he wanted artistically, and he never repeated the Purple Rain formula. As much as I do love Michael, he used the Thriller money to build a zoo and an amusement park, and followed up Thriller with a series of albums that followed the Thriller format.

Paisley Park Studios. Admission is easy apparently.

Right at the start of show 1 you call Prince “the greatest musician in the history of popular music.” Can you think of anyone else who can compete in being **that** good in so many musical areas?

No. Not one. I’m dead serious. There is really nothing to say here. To be a virtuoso on so many instruments, to be an incredible singer whose voice I don’t think I ever heard truly falter, to be an incredible ferocious James Brown-esque dancer, to be one of the most charismatic performers and bandleaders on the planet? Damn. I’ll let him off for his lousy acting. He had to be a musician. There is nothing else he could have done with his life.

Nothing compares to him then.

He was notoriously possessive about the rights to his music. What little of it gets shared online is taken down very quickly. What do you think about his music having been made available on Spotify after his death?

He was very clear on his thoughts on Spotify, and he gave exclusive rights to Tidal for a reason. That said, I am glad it is on there personally, because I think he didn’t quite understand how the “current” generation comsume music (maybe he did and he just didn’t approve). But I wonder how much further into younger generations he could have reached if he would have allowed his music on YouTube and Spotify. For example, Beyonce covered The Beautiful Ones when she played Glastonbury. How many kids wondered what that song was and typed it in to YouTube, but couldn’t find it so just sacked it off? I agree with him on principle – and I do feel like it was a principled approach. He put his money where his mouth was and removed his music from platforms that didn’t pay the artist sufficiently. I don’t think it was just about him, I think it was about how he felt artists in general were treated.

Are there any tracks that you kick yourself for not including in the podcasts?

I don’t know if there are any I kick myself over, but the last programme covered a longer period of time than the others, so I would have liked to have gone into more detail and play more of the later stuff that I think deserves to be heard. But, I don’t think it would have worked thematically to split that into two halves or whatever. There are a few extra proteges and leaked material that I would have liked to have played too. But I think overall I gave a pretty good overview, and I think I did it justice.

Got to say I was surprised not to hear Release It from the Graffiti Bridge soundtrack, which as well as having all the quality dialogue between Jerome and Morris also has the funkiest drum loop in the world!

Ha! Well, I didn’t wanna dwell too much on Graffiti Bridge cos it was a bit of an odd period, and things were about to get interesting behind the scenes. I thought it was better to cover The Time in that period with Jerk Out from the Pandemonium! album. Although Donald Trump (Black Version) from the same record would be interesting now too!

It was great to hear Love Song, the song Prince collaborated with Madonna on her best album. I’d forgotten all about that. It starts off like a proper collaboraton then as it goes on it becomes far more of a Prince song than a Madonna song. Was there only ever this song that they worked on or has any other stuff surfaced from that session?

Prince actually played a bit of uncredited guitar on that record, including the title track. She was also supposed to be in the Graffiti Bridge movie, but turned it down because she felt it wasn’t worthy of her talents. That says a lot about the quality of the Graffiti Bridge movie seeing as Madonna of Shanghai Surprise and Who’s That Girl turned it down for being a lousy script!

Who else would you have liked to have heard Prince collaborate with?

It’s funny, he wasn’t really much of a collaborator. He worked with people, but it usually felt like it was mostly him taking the reins. Although, according to Susannah Melvoin, when Michael Jackson wanted him to work on Bad, Prince re-recorded the whole track, sent it back to MJ and said “Now, that’s funky”. I wanna hear that!

Presumably you’ve seen him live a few times. What are your best memories from that?

I got to see him three times, and they were all very different shows with totally different setlists. I missed the 21 Nights In London (exams, getting ready to go to uni, no money etc). I finally got to see him at the Hop Farm Festival in Kent in 2011.

[The pictures below are by Shaun]

It was pretty much everything you’d want the first time you see Prince – he just played the hits for two and a half hours. Jammed a bit at the start to sort the sound out a bit, and then he just went “Dearly beloved…”, and kicked off Let’s Go Crazy, Delirious, 1999, Little Red Corvette, Nothing Compares 2 U, Take Me With U, Raspberry Beret, Cream, Cool, Let’s Work, U Got The Look, Purple Rain, Kiss, Controversy, If I Was Your Girlfriend and Baby I’m a Star.

At various points he covered Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan and Sylvester and brought out Larry Graham to jam on some Sly & The Family Stone tunes. I know a lot of fans can’t stand Larry, but I’m a huge Sly fan so I got a kick out of it. If I was a veteran I may have been disappointed, but for the first time you see Prince, it was exactly what you want.

The second time was at the Manchester Academy on the small 3RDEYEGIRL club shows he was doing in 2014. We were right up the front, and it felt more like one of the legendary aftershows than a regular gig. I kind of had a moment at that show where I realised he was human. Could not believe we were there. My friend said to me “That was the closest I’ve ever come to a religious experience”, which pretty much summed it up.

The last time was on the 3RDEYEGIRL arena tour a few months later, and it was somewhere between the two shows. Not a stadium pleaser cos he played some real deep cuts (he played Empty Room as I recall), but it was definitely an arena show at the same time. He also pulled out Paisley Park at that show, which is a song I never considered he might play.

I only saw him once on the Nude tour, Wembley Arena June 22nd 1990. I remember him playing Joni Mitchell’s A Case of You at the piano which is one my favourite song from one of my favourite albums. I assumed that was a regular part of the live show at that time but I was checking that tour on setlist.fm recently and discovered that was the only time he played that song until about 5 years later!

That’s incredible. I love the way he would just slip things in like that. I think him and Springsteen are the only people who have the balls to do that so regularly in a stadium setting.

 

Just going back to something you said earlier, what have people got against Larry Graham?

From what I can gather, a lot of the fans hold him to task for what they perceive as talking him into the Jehovah’s Witness faith at a vulnerable time in his life, after he lost his son. They see it as pretty underhanded. I haven’t read Mayte’s book yet, but I was flicking through it in a shop the other day and she seemed (emphasis on “seemed”) to reference it at some point too.

Right then, then et’s play “Fantasy Football for Bandmembers” Who from the various different lineups would you choose for the ultimate live Prince band? Obviously Prince can play his usual free role, he’s a utility player and can pop up wherever. 

Oooh, interesting. I guess Sheila has to be on drums. I guess I’d go for…

Bass- Rhonda Smith

Keyboards- Dr Fink & Lisa Coleman

Guitar- Wendy Melvoin

I’d also have the NPG Hornz. I’d like to have Shelby and such there, but with considerably less “Get your hands up” bellowing.

What about Cat? Don’t you need her to rap?

Ha! Of course! Rather her than Tony M to be fair!

I was glad to hear you include that great bit of dialogue about The Time from Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back. Presumably you’ve heard Kevin Smith’s lengthy anecdote about the difficulties of trying to work with Prince.

I got the feeling that it was more just that he has lived in a bubble for so long. If I had spent 20 years getting everything I want at the drop of a hat, I am pretty sure I would be a bit entitled too. Musicians often tend to be pretty entitled as a rule anyway! Haha.


Have you ever heard Sinead O’Connor’s account of meeting Prince and what do you make of it? (video here). You’ve already mentioned Michael Jackson so this question is maybe more relevant to him but how easy is it to separate somebody’s conduct in private from their music? 

I have heard the Sinead O’ Connor thing. I’m not sure how literal it is. She does have form for being a bit inconsistent, even within the different times I have heard her tell that story. Didn’t she say Arsenio Hall was responsible for Prince’s death last year and that she had proof and then took it back?

Kind of. She said that Arsenio Hall supplied him with drugs and then later retracted that after Hall threatened to sue. That’s not to say there’s nothing in it though. I’m a huge Sinead fan but she’s not the most reliable person even on events from her own life!

I wouldn’t excuse all the bad stuff he did (I think that’s the fundamental difference between Prince fans and Michael fans!) but there are certain things I’ll shrug off a little. He seemed to display some casual homophobia at times that is a little troublesome for me.

I have a couple of lyric questions that I’ve been wondering about for decades. I’m never gonna get to ask Prince so I thought I’d ask you instead. 

From Sign ‘o’ the Times: “At home there’s 17 year old kids and their idea of fun is being in a gang called the Disciples high on crack and toting a machine gun”

Don’t you think that *does* actually sound like quite a lot of fun?

Ha! In a muscle-bound Hollywood kinda way, I guess! Funnily enough, at first I thought he was saying “being in a band called The Disciples”, so I thought he was just singing about some mega-violent, drugged out hair metal band.

It was sampled by the Young Disciples but they’re definitely not hair metal.

That sounds familiar actually, I’m sure I have heard it around! It’s a groove anyway!

From the same song “September my cousin tried reefer for the very first time. Now he’s doing horse. It’s June.” 

This song came out around the time that me & my friends were trying reefer for the very first time. It is now 30 years later and none of us are doing horse. What do you think that says about Prince’s cousin?

I think the bigger question is should we have been doing horse all this time? Maybe life would be different!

Right, last one.

“I knew a girl named Nikki, I guess you could say she was a sex fiend,

I met her in a hotel lobby masturbating with a magazine”

Maybe it’s just me but a little clarification is needed here regarding locations and activities of the individuals involved.

Which of these do you think is accurate?

Scenario 1: Prince is in a hotel lobby and he’s masturbating (you can probably get away with that if you’re Prince). He sees Nikki who is also in the hotel lobby.

Scenario 2: Same as above but Nikki is actually in the magazine

Scenario 3: Nikki is in the hotel lobby and she’s the one who’s masturbating while looking at a magazine.

Scenario 4: Prince is not in a hotel lobby. He is masturbating in an unknown location whilst looking at a magazine in which he “meets” Nikki who is pictured in a a hotel lobby.

You’re the Prince expert, tell me what’s going on.

Honestly? I always thought that Nikki was literally masturbating with the magazine. Like, she had rolled it up and…you know…

I hope she didn’t get any paper cuts.

I was going to offer that as Scenario 5 but I thought that was just too far fetched. 

Check out this picture of my bedroom in 1989. 

Note the lifesize naked cardboard Prince. Do you have any unusual bits of Prince memorabilia?

Ah! That’s cool! No, I don’t have anything like that – just boring albums, DVD’s, old VHS, bootlegs, magazines, books and t-shirts. I wish I did have that kinda stuff though. I want a symbol necklace!

Us wizards have a parlour game we invented called One from Each. This is where you have to make a playlist but you are only allowed 1 song from each album.

These are gonna be off the top of my head, and they fluctuate quite a lot. (Chorizo’s choice from each album shown in brackets)

For You: Just As Long As We’re Together (same)
Prince: I Wanna Be Your Lover (Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad)
Dirty Mind: When You Were Mine (same)
Controversy: Do Me, Baby (Jack U Off)
1999: Little Red Corvette (1999)
Purple Rain: I Would Die 4 U (The Beautiful Ones) 
Around The World In a Day: Condition Of The Heart (same)
Parade: Mountains (same)
Sign “O” The Times: I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man (same but because it’s a double album I’m going to cheat and pick a song from disc 1 as well, Forever in My Life)
Lovesexy: Lovesexy (Anna Stesia)
Black Album: Le Grind
Batman: Trust (Vicky Waiting)
Graffiti Bridge: The Question of U (Thieves in the Temple)
Diamonds & Pearls: Insatiable (Money Don’t Matter 2 Nite)
O(+>: 7 (same)
Come: Letitgo (I’ll sit out the rest because I don’t really know the albums from here)
The Gold Experience: Dolphin
Chaos and Disorder: I Like It There
Emancipation: Get Yo Groove On
Crystal Ball: Good Love
The Truth: The Truth
New Power Soul: The One
The Vault…Old Friends 4 Sale: Sarah
Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic: So Far, So Pleased
The Rainbow Children: Muse To The Pharoah
One Nite Alone: A Case of U
Xpectation: [don’t really have a favourite, I only ever put it on in the background]
N.E.W.S.: [don’t really have a favourite, I only ever put it on in the background]
Musicology: Musicology
The Chocolate Invasion: U Make My Sun Shine
The Slaughterhouse: Northside
3121: Get on the Boat
Planet Earth: Chelsea Rodgers
LOtUSFLOW3R: $
MPLSounD: No More Candy 4 U
20Ten: Laydown
Plectrum Electrum: WOW
Art Official Age: Clouds
Hit N Run Phase 1: 1,000 X’s & O’s
Hit N Run Phase 2: Baltimore
Favourite b-side: How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore?
Oh man, the b-sides. Can I have a few b-sides in my list to make up for all the albums I don’t know. 17 Days! I Love U In Me! Horny Pony from the Gett Off cassette single! She’s Always In My Hair! 4 the Tears in Your Eyes! Scarlet Pussy!

Here’s a playlist with all the “One From Each” songs listed above that are available on Spotify.

 

So where can people hear your radio show?

The programme’s off air for a few weeks but it usually goes out Wednesdays at 8pm and can be heard on www.kcclive.com. It will have a different name when it comes back, but should still be that time slot.

I’m also working on a new website – tentatively called Planet Slop after a column I did for Getintothis called Cosmic Slop (after the Funkadelic album).

Thank you Shaun and may U live 2 See the dawn.

 

Other interviews on this website:

Podcast number 73

In this long-anticipated return, the wizards take on the the big question that is on everyone’s mind with a frank discussion about the plight of Jonathan Richman on our roads. No shirking of responsibilities here.

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We also get teenage punk tales from Rebel Rikkit, a John Peel quiz that felt even longer than it actually was and very fine review of the new (at the time) Husky Tones album.

Catch the fuck up with current events right here and there;

Some of the physicality played on this show:

Live review: The Moonlandingz, Goat Girl & Pink Kink @ Invisible Wind Factory, Liverpool, 25th March 2017

Our wizard Chorizo Garbanzo took a trip into Liverpool’s docklands for a triple bill of bands at Invisible Wind Factory.

Hear what he and old pal of the blog Texas Paul made of it all just below.


Whilst you’re here:

Kicker’s Quarterly – April 2017

Well, Spring has sprung and Britain has brexited, but surely what you all are really interested in is what Kicker has been listening to recently.

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Here, with reduced comment (because, frankly, who wants to read all that shite), is the latest Quarterly collection from the wizard least likely to attend a Crowded House concert.

Father – Dancing Major (from my prized 7″ single from Stoke’s finest, but now available on an excellent compilation on Emotional Response called Pop Chops – see what they did there)

Cavern Of Anti-Matter – Phototones (Stereolab bloke’s side project)

Au Pairs – We’re So Cool (Brummie post-punk of the highest order)

The Astounds – Objectivity Is So What Was (from a download only release last year from Dean Wells out of off of Capstan Shafts.)

The Bordellos – Vinyl Record Stamp Collector (everyone’s favourite St Helens’ band, just in time for RSD. From the wonderfully named How To Lose Friends And Influence No-One collection.)

Johnny Burnette & The Rock ‘n’ Roll Trio – Honey Hush (from 1956. Nineteen fifty-six!)

Robert Pollard – Instrument Beetle (100 LPs to choose from… this is from 2001’s Choreographed Man Of War. You should own them all.)

Tall Dwarfs – Meet The Beatle (the genius that is Chris Knox)

Car Seat Headrest – (Joe Gets Kicked Out Of School For Using) Drugs With Friends (But Says This Isn’t a Problem) (from last year’s Teens Of Denial and (a) song (title to be proud of).)

Chook Race – At Your Door (great new Brisbane band who may have heard the Go-Betweens.)

Kim Deal – Dirty Hessians (one of those KD singles that came out a few years ago, this is the B-side of the great Walking With A Killer.)

Happy Front – Weekend Away (from the ever-reliable Liquid Library stable)

Connections – John From Cincinnati (a highlight from last year’s Midnight Run album. Yet another Ohio band to die for.)

Doubting Thomas Cruise Control – Early Mortuary Behavior (from an old tape, a casseepee, in fact, called Moonchild/Jailface. All of their stuff is worth a listen despite the poor effort at spelling.)

Eric Gaffney – Phil Spectre Mask (co-founder of Sebadoh and, er, Jesus Christ. There’s A LOT to catch up on if you’ve not been paying attention.)

Skip Manning – Ham ‘n’ Eggs (from the 60 Songs From The Cramps Crazy Collection CD that is a treasure trove of goodness.)

The Third Bardo – I’m Five Years Ahead Of My Time (Nuggets. That’s all there is to it. Nuggets.)

Slushies – Sun Lion (This is on the same Moonchild/Jailface release as DTCC, but on the other side. It is also great.)

Mark Eitzel – In My Role As A Professional Singer And Ham (from the new LP, Hey Mr Ferryman.)

The Wyrd Interactions – Jonah Slide & His Suicide (Rob Hillfield is also in The Hillfields and the rather fantastic Rapid Results College, but this is his solo stuff. It’s all worth checking out.)

Question Mark Six Degrees

Most of those tracks are available here:

Live Review: Elvis Costello Live At The Bridgewater Hall Manchester 19th March 2017

66% of this Costello obsessed podcast took the Detour to Manchester to see the last surviving Elvis flourish in his natural habitat playing various musical instruments whilst perched on a Blue Chair.

See if they could stand up for falling down or whether they ended up speaking Pidgin English in New Amsterdam click here or down there to find out!

The obligatory poor quality pictures keep coming.

 

Please note Elvis is with Chuck Berry on the big screen and Chuck is playing the same guitar as Elvis is playing for real in front of the screen. It was a memorial thing.

Podcast number 72

A surprisingly happy wizard does his best to cheer up the rest of the team in their first proper show of the year.

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Things really get rolling with a quite literally colourful quiz, detailed reviews of new albums from both Smug Brothers and Eugene Twist, and there’s even time for an exclusive new track from Schizo Fun Addict, oh, and another of Chorizo Garbanzo’s hazily recalled tales to catch up on some sleep through.

To listen and download just click here or do the soundcloud thing down there.

Some of the physicality we played in this show:

 

Podcast number 71

As is right and proper, this podcast starts with a glimpse into the heady world of academia…

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a manucian academic

Drink is the real theme of the show and tracks are played just because the wizards like the titles (take that discerning podcasts!). Kicker brings in a surprising guest, there’s a review of the new MFC Chicken album and what can only be described as a Stupid Quiz.

Rebel Rikkit’s World of Ska makes its way to Brum and Chorizo does his best to frighten those listeners (hello to you both) who fall asleep before the end of the podcast.

Tune in and breathe easily right here. Oh and there:

Some of the physicality played and discussed on the show:

 

Podcast number 70: Rebel Rikkit’s Best of 2016

Picking the best songs from 2016 is not an issue to take lightly.

screenshot-2017-01-13-19-14-20So, Rebel Rikkit has taken his time to consider the selections before now delivering his verdict some 13 days after the end of the year.

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Was it worth the wait? Has the curator’s curator cured or cursed? Has the collector’s collector collected or cashed out? Has…(shall we just get on. TTW Ed.)

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Yes indeed, Rikkit calls 2016 here and down there and, may I say in tribute to one of our fallen, Listen With Prejudice!

Kicker’s Quarterly – January 2017

Happy New Year everyone!

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As is tradition [We did this last year – TTW Ed.], the first quarterly of the year rounds up all those songs from 2016 that just missed the cut in being on my Best of 2016 list. The very best of the rest if you will.

And with time at a premium, let’s get straight to it with a run down of the runners and riders:

  1. Jeff Rosenstock – We Begged 2 Explode (from the album Worry.)
  2. Shit Present – Sick Of Me (from the Misery + Disaster EP)
  3. Beth Orton – 1973 (from the album Kidsticks)
  4. Christian Fitness – Happiness Is Not For Amateurs (from the album This Taco Is Not Correct)
  1. The Burning Hell – Men Without Hats (from the album Public Library)
  2. Terry – 8 Girls (from the single 8 Girls)
  3. Manray – Feelin’ Alright (from the Feelin’ Alright cassette EP)
  4. Graham Repulski – The Next Great Cake (from the album Contaminated Man)
  1. The Hayman Kupa Band – Someone To Care For (from the single Someone To Care For)
  2. A Tribe Called Quest – We The People… (from the album We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service)
  3. The Humdum Express – Double Edged Swords (from the album The Day My Career Died)
  4. Kristin Hersh – Between Piety And Desire (from the album Wyatt At The Coyote Palace)
  5. Robert Pollard – Little Pigs (from the album Of Course You Are)
  6. Fog – Made To Follow (from the album For Good)
  7. Gruff Rhys – Set Fire To The Stars (from the album Set Fire To The Stars)
  8. Pete Astor – Do Nothing (from the single Do Nothing)
  1. Ian Hunter And The Rant Band – Dandy (from the album Fingers Crossed)
  2. Honey Radar – Fort Wayne Mermaids (from the album Blank Cartoon)
  3. Sat. Nite Duets – Deep Peace (from the album Air Guitar)
  4. The Dwarfs Of East Agouza – Baka Of The Future (from the album Bes)

All these tracks are too good to miss, so after listing to them below, why not go and buy your favourites and help support these talented musicians.

The Playlist

 

 

Podcast number 69: Chorizo Garbanzo’s Best Of 2016

It’s Christmas time. There’s no need to be afraid.

We’ve already seen more than enough musicians dying this year and now it seems that Santa Claus gave The Grim Reaper a copy of this iconic 1984 photo and he’s started working his way through it. With 3 days of 2016 still remaining, Sting, Midge and the rest of them know that the greatest gift they’ll get this year is life.

Well, tonight thank God it’s them instead of you.

band-aid

“Hey guys, is it just my tinnitus playing up or can anyone else hear the clanging chimes of doom?”

 

None of the musicians pictured feature in our latest podcast.  Instead it includes 24 of Chorizo Garbanzo’s favourite new releases from 2016. This is podcast number 69, the sauciest of all the numbers, so it is appropriate that it is introduced by a certain sexy MF.

Listen or download it here.

 

 

 

Here are some of the CDs that were played:

 

Some of our other “Best of the year” podcasts:

Kicker of Elves’ Favourite Things from 2016

It’s that happy time of year again when I look back over the previous 12 months of music related ephemera and award my favourite things with the accolade everyone secretly desires, the Kickers of 2016.

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you know you want one

Favourite song

You can hear me and Kicker Jr chewing the fat over my 23 favourite songs of the year right here, but there is clearly only one possible winner of the Kicker Song of 2016, the remarkably kind and hugely talented The Thyme Machine (with a video from Kicker Jr):

Favourite album

In order, these are my top 25 albums of 2016, all of which you need.

1. Tremolo Ghosts – Supercomputer Designs Seashells

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2. ESP Ohio – Starting Point Of The Royal Cyclopean

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3. Lambchop – FLOTUS

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4. Eureka California – Versus

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5. Guided By Voices – Please Be Honest

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6. Babybird – People Do Stupid Things

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7. Pulco – Farmyard & Library

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8. The Moles – Tonight’s Music

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9. Yak – Alas Starvation

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10. Graham Repulski – Re-Arranged At Hotel Strange/Contaminated Man/Boy Lung

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11. The Julie Ruin – Hit Reset

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12. Drive-By Truckers – American Band

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13. The Wave Pictures – Bamboo Diner In The Rain

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14. The Nosuns – Pawrawbaw

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15. Honey Radar – Blank Cartoon

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16. Joseph Airport – Is Reeling ‘Round The Punch Bowl

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17. Christian Fitness – This Taco Is Not Correct

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18. Connections – Midnight Run

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19. Badgertrap – Man Shed Head Crisis

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20. Datblygu – Porwr Trallod

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21. David Bowie – Blackstar

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22. Motorama – Dialogues

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23. A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service

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24. Martha – Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart

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25. Shirley Collins – Lodestar

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And here, making up my top 50 albums for 2106, in alphabetical order, are 25 more albums I have really enjoyed and also highly recommend:

Bad Luck Jonathan – Bad Luck Jonathan, Bill Baird – Summer Is Gone, Baltic Fleet – The Dear One, The Bordellos – How To Lose Friends And Influence No-One, The Burning Hell – Public Library, Car Seat Headrest – Teens Of Denial, Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker, The Frightnrs – Nothing More To Say, Darren Hayman – Thankful Villages Vol. 1 , The Humdrum Express – The Day My Career Died, Kristin Hersh – Wyatt At The Coyote Palace, Jon Langford’s Men Of Gwent – The Legend Of LL, Lightning In A Twilight Hour ‎– And All The Ships At Sea, Parquet Courts – Human Performance, Robert Pollard – Of Course You Are, Jeff Rosenstock – Worry., Fatima Al Qadiri – Brute, Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – Mid Thirties Single Scene, Elza Soares – A Mulher Do Fim Do Mundo, Soda Eaves – Murray, Darling , Soft Hearted Scientists – Golden Omens, The Still – The Still, Sweet Benfica – Dip My Hands Into The Sun, The Wedding Present – Going, Going…, Working For A Nuclear Free City – What Do People Do All Day?

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Best Compilation

Adventures in Home Taping Volume 3 & 4 (Post/Pop Records) – for the second year running!!

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Top EP:

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  1. Barlow – Every Time I Saw Him
  2. Dog Paper Submarine – Trouble On Earth
  3. Graham Repulski – High On Mt. Misery
  4. Lou Barlow – Apocalypse Fetish
  5. Tremolo Ghosts – Is Drunk On The Stairs
  6. Jason Henn – The Parachute Candidate
  7. Joseph Airport – 8-Mile Blowout At Hot Wheel City
  8. Manray – Feelin’ Alright
  9. Billordo – Punk De Fogon
  10. Shit Present – Misery + Disaster

 

Top Download Only:

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  1. The Astounds The Astounds
  2. The Electric Pencils The Electric Pencils
  3. Nixon Calvin
  4. Mike Downey TapeAll Times Gem
  5. This HeelThis Heel III

 

Top Reissue/Not Strictly Speaking New Stuff

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  1. Spare Snare – Dundee Church For The Deaf
  2. Black Reindeer – The Songs
  3. Urusei Yatsura – You Are My Urusei Yatsura Radio Sessions
  4. Tim Chaplin – Boy To Make Me Worry
  5. Tapes & Tubes – Retroactive
  6. The Microphones – Early Tapes, 1996 – 1998
  7. The Clean – Getaway
  8. Lizardland – The Brotherhood of Lizards
  9. Visitors – Poet’s End
  10. Passenger Peru – Passenger Peru

 

The Robert Pollard Annual Output Roundup

Another bumper year in GBVworld with ESP Ohio – Starting Point Of The Royal Cyclopean, Robert Pollard – Of Course You Are; Guided By Voices – Please Be Honest; 2 songs with Bun E Carlos (Greetings from Bunezuela);  2 x ESP Ohio singles, and the re-release of Guided By Voices – Under The Bushes Under The Stars (on blue vinyl) and Robert Pollard – Not In My Airforce (now on separate album and EP).

In the wider GBV world, we also had 2 singles from Tobin Sprout; Doug Gillard on the Nada Surf LP (You Know Who You Are); Nate Farley & The Firewatchers split single with Motel Beds; Mitch Mitchell’s Terrifying Experience LP (Mother Angelina) + a demo debuted on a previous podcast; Todd Tobias – Gila Man LP; Jim Greer’s DTCV’s Confusion Moderne.

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Here is a playlist of favourite songs taken from the pile above:

N.B. Tobin Sprout – When I Was A boy and DTCV – Le Silence Ne Porte Pas both unavailable on Spotify

 

The Bobby Pop Award For Prolificacy

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Songs released in 2016:

  1. Stephen Jones: 326 tracks (With a final Triple CD released on 28 December, this figure has now been amended. – TTW Accuracy Ed.)
  2. Owen Chambers (Tremolo Ghosts): 62 songs
  3. Robert Pollard: 51 tracks
  4. Graham Repulski: 47 tracks

 

Worst Records Bought

Mark Kozelek – Sings Favourites. (He really needn’t have bothered.)

Neil Young – Earth. (Songs with the sound of bees over the top, anyone? At least Peace Trail was pretty good.)

 

Top 6 Music Related Books (Read This Year)

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  1. Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run
  2. Robert Forster – Grant & I
  3. Bob Mehr – Trouble Boys: The True Story Of The Replacements
  4. Eddie Argos – I Formed A Band
  5. Kristin Hersh – Don’t Suck, Don’t Die: Giving Up Vic Chesnutt
  6. Andy Partridge – Complicated Game

 

Best TV

  1. Black Mirror – Series 3 (Netflix)
  2. Happy Valley – Series 2 (BBC1)
  3. Fleabag (BBC3)
  4. Trapped (BBC4)
  5. Narcos (Netflix)
  6. People Just Do Nothing (BBC3)

 

Worst TV

All BBC political coverage.

 

Top 12 Gigs

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  1. The Thyme Machine – our back garden, Liverpool, 31/5/16 – review
  2. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, 3/6/16 – review
  3. Robert Forster – The Deaf Institute, Manchester, 31/5/16
  4. Spare Snare – Rio Community Centre, Newport-on-Tay, 17/9/16
  5. The Necks – Band On The Wall, Manchester, 8/11/16
  6. Low – Epstein Theatre, Liverpool, 3/8/16
  7. Kristin Hersh – Philharmonic Rooms, Liverpool, 19/11/16
  8. Elvis Depressedly – Aatma, Manchester, 15/6/16
  9. The Wave Pictures – Telfords Warehouse, Chester, 15/11/16
  10. The Burning Hell – The Eagle Inn, Salford, 14/5/16 (and The Shipping Forecast, Liverpool, 3/12/16) – review
  11. Shonen Knife – Arts Club, Liverpool, 4/5/16 – review
  12. The Wedding Present – Lowry Theatre, Salford, 11/9/16 – review

 

Podcast number 68: Kicker’s Best of 2016

Unable to rouse his fellow wizards in this season of hangovers, Kicker ropes in Kicker Jr to be on the receiving end of a definitive selection of the best songs of 2016.

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Things kick off with a challenging instrumental (and gratuitous swearing) as Kicker throws down the obscurist’s obscurist gauntlet with 2 selections that have had no commercial release at all. Take that record labels! Some proper musicians also share their favourite songs of the year with us, so prepare to add to your must listen lists.

All the goodness can be heard here and there…

This is the physicality played where there was physicality to play:

As there were no other wizards around, Kicker also played one extra (long) track at the end, which would have made the cut if only CDs stretched to 90 minutes.

Here it is being made:

and this is the finished product:

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The Wedding Present: One From Each with special indie-rock royalty guests!

To celebrate the latest leg of The Wedding Present‘s tour, we invited some legends from the wild world of indie-rock to join us playing a parlour game we invented called “One From Each”

Each player has to choose 1 track from each of the band’s studio albums to make what surely must be THE ULTIMATE PLAYLIST.

The participants are:

Seeing as it’s my blog post I get to chip in with my choices too.

We have all been to see The Wedding Present this week. I went Liverpool on Tuesday, Kriss saw them in Kendal last weekend and Tim and Frankie were at the Derby gig on Wednesday.

 

 

 

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George Best (1987, Reception)

Tim: Anyone Can Make a Mistake

Very difficult choice this one, could have gone either of three ways. Festive 50 1987, I still didn’t get them, my tape of it criminally has the 4 or so tracks from it skipped, it would take a whole 2 more weeks and their gig at Manchester University on the Nobody’s Twisting Your Arm tour to finally succumb. Seeing them do the album back a few years ago was one of the best gigs I’ve ever seen, not least for bringing out the Non-Hits.

Kriss: A Million Miles

Great, great Weddoes tune. For me no one writes about love, jealousy and disastrous relationships as well or as honestly as David Gedge. From the opening gambit, “I must’ve walked past this doorway thirty times” to the climax and the ending, with probably my favourite Wedding Present lyric of all time, “you’re not like anyone I’ve ever met… at least not yet.” Arrangement wise, it’s jangly, fast and a classic Weddoes track.

Frankie: A Million Miles

Has to be “A Million Miles”. That was the first track off the album I heard on Peel and I was totally sold. The lyrics also seemed to legitimize my pulling technique of continually walking past girls until they said something to me. This rarely (never) worked but at last David Gedge knew my pain.

Chorizo: My Favourite Dress

 

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Tommy (1988, Reception)

Tim: You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends

I remember this LP cover from going round to a school mates house. His big brother had this and the Beggars Banquet sampler with The Fall doing Spoilt Victorian Child. That was the day I fell for the Fall, but I didn’t get The Wedding Present just then.

Kriss: My Favourite Dress

However many times I hear this song it always sounds as fresh, raw and emotional as the first time. David Gedge at his best, brutally stark and not dressed up or sanitized. “Slowly your beauty is eaten away By the sense of someone else, In the blanket where we lay”. The image of the “strangers hand on my favourite dress” is tragic, haunting and heartbreaking. Breathtaking.

Frankie: Never Said

A classic b-side which I already had on the white vinyl 7” of My Favourite Dress that came free with my copy of George Best. Yet again it seemed to make it OK to be completely useless at interacting with girls. This all happened while I was at Sixth Form college and completely informed my decision to choose Leeds Polytechnic as my Higher Education institute of choice. The UK’s capital city of hopeless indie kids.

Chorizo: You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends

 

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Bizarro (1989, RCA)

Tim: Bewitched

Angst ridden Gedge at his finest, we’ve all been there. Repetition Repetition Repetition. And their first (possibly) quiet/loud bit. And that lovely bit at the end too.

Kriss: What Have I Said Now?

This is difficult, especially when Bizarro has Kennedy and Brassneck on it. “What have I said now?” is the track that unlocked the Wedding Present for me. There was a recent Guardian article that described the Wedding Present and David Gedge as ‘something deeply ensnaring about the Wedding Present and singer (and only constant member) David Gedge, an acquired taste you can never shake’. And it’s true, when I first listened to them I found them to be impenetrable and all the songs sounded the same. Then suddenly I listened to ‘What have I Said now?’ and I got it! Like seeing a magic eye for the first time, or acquiring a taste for beer I ‘got’ the Wedding Present, that was at nineteen and I still listen on a weekly basis. Picked for sentimental reasons but still a great track.

Frankie: Take Me

I’d heard this on the Peel Session they did prior to the release of Bizarro and I remember sitting in my room taping it with a strange mixture of excitement and fear. Excited that it felt like it was never going to end, but then scared that my tape was going to run out! I accidentally saw them play a secret warm-up gig in Leeds for the Bizarro tour and this “Take Me” was a stand-out memory. My old blog on that gig is here if you’re interested.

Chorizo: Take Me

 

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Seamonsters (1991, RCA)

Tim: Dalliance

A close cousin of Bewitched I guess. Brilliant album. I remember having a drunken conversation about this album with someone at Leicester Poly Friday night disco, trying to explain that each song on the album for me related to a different girl (all largely unrequited I think), can’t remember any of them now! Seeing them with the Wonder Stuff earlier this year re-confirmed that the best bit of any Wedding Present gig (or indeed ANY gig) is that bit at 2:46 when it explodes, never too old to throw yourself around to this. Glorious. And when not in a mosh pit, its essential air drumming! Probably my #1.
Actually just remembered about Crawl (if you were doing deluxe versions which we shouldn’t be) A very simple song, cant actually work out why its so good, but it is.

Kriss: Corduroy

The song they opened with when I saw them live for the first time. Loud, distorted massive sound but everything has a place. Much darker, edgier and aggressive than the jangliness of George Best. Brilliant song from an excellent album.

Frankie: Octopussy

One of the few songs on Seamonsters that I didn’t already know through Peel sessions, singles or gigs before I got a copy of this record home. Sat at the end of Side B it was obviously the last one I heard and still feels like a lost gem to me. I don’t think I ever even saw them play it live until the recent Seamonsters heritage tour.

Chorizo: Lovenest

 

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The Hit Parade (1992, RCA)

12 singles released monthly throughout the year. Technically not an album but hey, who cares? My blog post on the Hit Parade singles and my David Gedge approved graph can be found right here.

Tim: Silver Shorts

Ah what fun. This year corresponded to leaving University and getting a job, and realising that November was going to be the first one I wasn’t going to be able to buy on the day it came out. I almost tried to hold off joining the real world until the January, just to make sure (what an idiot)! Thankfully the novelty was beginning to wear off by then so 11 and 12 were secured to complete the set. Silver Shorts – just a great tune.

Kriss: Flying Saucer

Ever since I heard this I’ve loved the image of the ‘flying saucer right inside my head’. Great tune!

Frankie: Silver Shorts

By the time they reached The Hit Parade I had left Leeds and was back in Deby working a full-time job. The first Monday of every month in 1992 I’d nip out of the office for lunch and head to the record shops to pick up the next 7” in the series. So The Hit Parade never felt like an album but my favourite of the singles was definitely “Silver Shorts” with the Twin Peaks song on the B-side. Living at my parents, my Dad had a swanky record player that you could put on repeat, so I remember spending the Easter weekend listening to this one about 200 times on the bounce.

Chorizo: Come Play With Me

 

Watusi (1994, Island)

Tim: Click Click

Probably the easiest choice of all of these, one of Gedge’s very best on what is a comparatively weak album. By this point there’s some real experimentation in the song writing and this strikes me as a sort of round, and is very clever. I’ve listened to this song god know how many times over the last 20+ years and still really struggle to come in at the right place with the air drumming. Whilst Rob and I have joked about it eventually being our turn to join either the Fall or The Wedding Present (Rob’s got no chance, he doesn’t look good in a short skirt and knee high boots). My biggest fear would be having to play this, because I’d never be able to come in at the right place. Air drumming failures aside, probably my #2.

Kriss: Swimming Pools and Movie Stars

It feels as if Watusi is often forgotten in the Weddoes canon but I’ve always had a soft spot for it. Maybe because it came on the back of releasing all the singles for Hit Parade people were all Gedged out. Swimming Pools and Movie Stars just edges out Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah for top spot on this one!

Frankie: Click Click

Watusi coincided with me finally moving out into a reasonably nice flat (as opposed to student hovels) with a mate who managed Way Ahead Records in Derby. This was known as the Year Of Many CDs as my collection seemed to exponentially increase as a result. Watusi kind of got lost in the glut, possibly because it underwhelmed me slightly. “Click Click” was the stand-out track, whilst rubbish like “Shake It” left me beyond disappointed.

Chorizo: Click Click

 

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Saturnalia (1996, Cooking Vinyl)

Tim: Skin Diving

Very difficult choice, as an album, it’s okay probably better than Watusi, but no real stand out tracks. This era was a bit weird for me having previously hung out quite a bit with Tse Tse Fly a few years back, and then here they are as being half the Wedding Present!

Kriss: Real Thing

Saturnalia was always a bit of a slow burner for me but it did get under skin after a while. Real Thing always stood out off this album for me. Love the boy/girl vocals and the distorted guitars at the end. I enjoyed the shift sonically and it’ll be a mystery to see what they would have put out next had Saturnalia not been the last album before the hiatus.

Frankie: Venus

Saturnalia came out 6 months after the birth of my first child, so my memories of it are somewhat blurred. I doubt I even bought it on the day of release, and I certainly didn’t spend a lot of time listening to it. Which is probably why I’d choose “Venus” here as the first track on the CD it’s probably about as far as I got most times. Even now having gone back to it, I can say with conviction that this is by far my least favourite Wedding Present album. It felt like they were running out of steam and I wasn’t surprised in the least when David Gedge announced his solo project afterwards. My only disappointment there was that he didn’t heed my advice and call it “Gedge!” (the exclamation mark being important). Cinerama was a rubbish name for it in comparison.

Chorizo: Skin Diving

 

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Take Fountain (2005, Scopitones)

Tim: Perfect Blue

After slowly turning back into the Wedding Present from Cinerama, this album is a cracking return of the name. There are a few that could have been the choice here, but as an album closer this is one of the very best. The tours for this album were also great, being the first time, in years they’d done really old stuff too, just a shame Simon Smith wasn’t there, the Finnish drummer’s snare was always too tight!

Kriss: Interstate 5

As good as anything the Wedding Present have ever done. Genuinely believe that Interstate 5 is one of the greatest Wedding Present songs off an album I love. Along with Seamonsters and George Best, Take Fountain completes my top three WP albums. With regards in Interstate 5 I love the arrangements of the guitars, I love the lyrics, I love how long it is! Excellent.

Frankie: Don’t Touch That Dial

The Wedding Present “comeback” didn’t surprise me either. Having attended Cinerama gigs throughout their lifespan it was obvious that audiences were dwindling, so reverting to The Wedding Present name seemed an obvious (if somewhat cynical) path to take. I still think of this as a Cinerama album as they’d debuted a number of the songs as Cinerama and the line-up was identical. They had this very technical drummer from Finland or somewhere and he seemed (to me) completely ill-suited to The Wedding Present. Witness the horrible off-beat ride cymbal on “Interstate 5” that drags, what should be a powerful opening statement, towards some sort of reggae excursion. That said, there are some brilliant songs on here and I struggle to choose between “Perfect Blue” and “Don’t Touch That Dial” as my favourites, but as it’s a strict “1 from each” rule, I’ll go with the latter.

Chorizo: Ringway to Seatac

 

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El Rey (2008, Vibrant)

Tim: Boo Boo

Another one showing I’m a sucker for the moody ones. The only time I saw them round this time was at Indietracks. The problem with all these themed old tours is they don’t play the new stuff much after the year it comes out. I’d be keen on a “NO OLD SONGS” tour, but the gigs would be empty I guess.

Kriss: Spider Man on Hollywood

Sounds like it could have been off Watusi! My favourite from this album as it sounds the most like the Wedding Present!!!

Frankie: Boo Boo

Seems to have a fairly low standing among other fans I’ve spoken to but I really liked this album when it came out. I’ve not listened to it in quite a while but “Boo Boo” was my favourite at the time. Just checked again and it still is, although I can see why it’s not considered a classic Wedding Present album. A couple of weak songs and some fairly flat Albini production going on but at least they’d got a proper drummer in!

Chorizo: Don’t Take Me Home Until I’m Drunk

 

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Valentina (2012, Scopitones)

Tim: End Credits

For the bass guitar alone, could be Steve Hanley playing it.

Kriss: Back a Bit… Stop

Didn’t really get into this album first time round until I heard the the Cinerama cover of the whole album. I really enjoyed that so I went back and listened to it. It was great as listening to it again I enjoyed it a lot more. Not vintage Weddoes in my humble opinion but still better than most!!!

Frankie: The Girl from the DDR

My main criticism of Valentina when it came out was that, whilst it contained a whole bunch of solid Wedding Present songs it didn’t have a killer track that grabbed me and stuck with me like their best albums did. This makes doing a “1 from each” tricky for me, but I’ll plump for “The Girl From The DDR” even though it’s one of several songs that I think were bettered by the Cinerama versions last year. Am I allowed to say that?

Chorizo: Deer Caught in the Headlights

 

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Going Going… (2016, Scopitones)

Frankie: Rachel

My favourite on the new album is probably Rachel (I bet Tim says Santa Monica!)

Tim: Santa Monica and Bear

As its a double length album, I’ll have 2 choices. Santa Monica as correctly predicted by Rob, not least for its impressive use of recycling lyrics! But also Bear.

Kriss: Bear

I love Going Going, it’s their best since Take Fountain and I think it might even be in my top three Weddoes albums. Been on pretty much constant rotation since I got it. Favourite track has to be Bear. Such a great song and when they played it live in Kendal it was amazing!

Chorizo: Got to agree with Kriss, this album is right up there with their very best. Seeing as Tim has already bent the rules a bit with the double album thing, I’ll choose Fifty Six and Little Silver.

 

Official Wedding Present links:

  • Visit The Wedding Present online shop to buy their music
  • Check the tour dates to see when they’re coming your way (if you’re going to Manchester in May then see you down the front!)

More Wedding Present stuff on this website:

 

Spotify playlist featuring all these songs:

Podcast number 67

Our latest podcast takes you behind the scenes with a bunch of old farts, no not the wizards…

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We also venture into the teenage Chorizo Garbanzo’s lair, learn about Rebel Rikkit’s aversion to very high heights and hear about Kicker’s latest favourite Robert Pollard side project.

There’s also a rational and reasoned debate about the various qualities of current football pundits [this may well not be rational or reasoned and may involve justifiably lengthy personal attacks – TTW Ed.]

Oh, and we also once again forgot to say hello to listener Lee Anthony Beet, so hello LAB (as everyone calls you. Probably).

Listen in and download on this link or below:

Some of the physicality played on this show:

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And here’s that photo of Chorizo’s teenage bedroom circa 1989…

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