On this day in 1977, The ‘White Riot Tour’ kicked off in London at The Roxy with a line-up of The Clash, The Jam and Buzzcocks. Oh, to have been 10 years older. Now, although there’s no particular reason for mentioning this fact, it does mean we can legitimately start the blog with this:
So what else have we got in store for you this month? Well, how about some Santana? No, not that Carlos dude, I mean the cool sounds from Lucas Santtana who mashes up (yes, kids!) the 50s sound of Joao Gilberto with 21st century electronica on his fantastic album Sem Nostalgia (Without Nostalgia, irony fans). Maintaining the Latin start to the mix, we follow the Brazilian with the Spanish. In fact a Spanish/French singer who sings in French, Spanish, English, Italian, Arabic, Galician and Portuguese amongst others, Manu Chao, for it is he, soundtracked much of the late 90s for me and his albums, especially Clandestino, still keep on giving. Now for some Morrissey. No, not that one (Another seamless link – TTW Ed.), this is the real Irish Morrissey who Rebel and I saw supporting Damien Dempsey in February with his mate Marshall and moved me to buy their debut album And So It Began, which didn’t disappoint. Not sure how any of the songs so far link to Del Shannon, but it is he who’s up next with a creepy number that tends to get over looked behind the big hits Runaway and Hats Off To Larry, but really is quite fantastic.
Have you all picked up on the psychedelic resurgence or is it just happening here in the NW of the UK? Well, all the way from Kettering, new poster boys for the movement, Temples, have a great debut album, Sun Structures, out this year and up next is one of my favourite, albeit less psyche, tracks from it. Don’t let the Johnny Marr endorsement put you off, these boys are the real thing. Back in the day (before the pod) Rebel Rikkit and I saw Wire perform an incendiary set at The Roadhouse in Manchester. The support act that night were a couple of Belgians who were named after the Turkish for ‘fizzy water’, or something like that, and who made a tremendous noise. They were, and still are, Madensuyu, and a track from their great Stabat Mater album (it probably has something to do with forks) follows. Then it’s the first claim for song title of the month with Benjamin Shaw and his deliberately misspelt Goodbye, Kagoul World. I know it must be a deliberate misspelling because it comes from the correctly spelt Goodbye, Cagoul World EP, which is full of tremendous lo-fi paeans to the misfortunate and the like. It is definitely one of my favourites of the year so far. Time for an old favourite next, it’s The Flamin’ Groovies (one of honorary wizard, Chuck Prophet’s top Californian bands I am reliably informed) with my favourite song of theirs. I am sure Chuck must have played it at some time too. Good advice too, we should all Shake Some Action right now.
New music from Leeds next with young pups Eagulls (I’m not sure about the quality of that band name) and one of the stand out tracks from this year’s self-titled debut album. Garbanzo might’ve seen them supporting his Manics at some point. Another old favourite that popped upon shuffle this month follows that and it’s this wizard’s favourite 80s popstar, Clare Grogan, with Altered Images and one of two tip top hits they had with the word Happy in the title – so obviously feel-good, but no less great for that. A more obscure cut next from (American?) noisesters, Violent Past, who came under the wizard radar by being on the other side of a split single with French faves, Sudden Death Of Stars. This isn’t that song, but is possibly even better. You can download it for free from the link below. And you should. Regular readers of the blog will be aware of my recent record shopping trip that took me to London and Newcastle amonst other places and one of my early picks on that trip was the not at all vinyl copy of the Good Vibrations soundtrack. A film and indeed soundtrack that I would highly recommend if for no other reason than that it includes the mighty Blood & Fire by Niney The Observer.
I also picked up a late Marc Bolan album on that trip and it is with some embarrassment that I have to admit to a ‘gap in my wise’ (as a Czech friend once memorably put it) and the lack of any real knowledge of T Rex outside the hit singles and The Slider album. I intend to do something about this, but for now, here’s the title track from the only album I know. It’s great. A bunch of wizards recently caught Birmingham’s finest, Johnny Foreigner, giving it loads in a Liverpool basement. Highly impressive live, the band have also recently released probably their best album to date (so much for my first album theory, eh, Chorizo), the clearly ironically entitled You Can Do Better on the magnificent Alcopop label. Check it out. Oh, and check out currently my favourite track from the album right here now. Next up it’s another song that hit these wizard ears through the magic of shuffle, it’s that Dusty Springfield with a track I had always thought of as being by The Byrds, but seemingly they covered her. It’s Goin’ Back. A second claim for best song title of the month now as we have former Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, Euros Childs, with the track Costa Rita (see what he did there?) from the album Chops that has set me off on a hunt for the man’s back catalogue. Tremendous stuff.
Now, I hope you’ve all been listening to the Alcopop records monthly podcast – especially the April one as the wizards were all over it. If you have, you’ll have heard a couple of tracks by recent recruits Brawlers who have just released the neatly titled I’m A Worthless Piece Of Shit EP. Sadly, one of the wizards remains unconvinced by this lot, so I present exhibit A, the barnstorming Mothers & Fathers for the defence. That Nuggets collection is pretty good, isn’t it? You know, the one that Patti Smith’s guitarist put together collating the best garage sounds of the 60s? Well, it is. And this track by The Litter might just be the one to convince any sceptics out there. A new album from Damien Jurado is something to celebrate chez O’Elves and his latest offering, Brothers And Sisters Of The Eternal Sun, is a slow burner that has really got some beautiful stuff on it. Like the track here, Silver Timothy. No, me neither. Finally, it’s Robert Pollard. It’s Go Back Snowball. It’s Divine.
See you next month!
Those tracks in full:
1. Super Violao Mashup – Lucas Santtana
2. Mentira – Manu Chao
3. And So It Began – Morrissey & Marshall
4. Stranger In Town – Del Shannon
5. Keep In The Dark – Temples
6. Haul In / High Tide – Madensuyu
7. Goodbye, Kagoul World – Benjamin Shaw
8. Shake Some Action – The Flamin’ Groovies
9. Opaque – Eagulls
10. I Could Be Happy – Altered Images
11. Window Of Time – Violent Past – the only song not on Spotify can be downloaded for free!
12. Blood And Fire – Niney The Observer
13. The Slider – T Rex
14. To The Death – Johnny Foreigner
15. Goin’ Back – Dusty Springfield
16. Costa Rita – Euros Childs
17. Mothers & Fathers – Brawlers
18. Action Woman – The Litter
19. Silver Timothy – Damien Jurado
20. It Is Divine – Go Back Snowball
From Strange Echoes
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