Friday, 29 October 2010

ASBO RETARDS: Called In Sick

We all 'call in sick' now and then, but few of us have tried using 'the plague' as an excuse. The Brighton-based Asbo Retards, whose tagline is 'flying at you like a bag of shit', look like the class of '77 and are clearly enjoying themselves:

Thursday, 28 October 2010


Wikipedia (and who am I to disagree with Wikipedia) states that:

"Acid house is a sub-genre of house music that emphasizes a repetitive, hypnotic and trance-like style, often with samples or spoken lines rather than sung lyrics. Acid house's core electronic squelch sounds were developed by mid-1980s DJs from Chicago.
The earliest recorded examples of acid house are a matter of debate. At least one historian considers the Phuture's "Acid Trax" to be the genre's earliest example; DJ Pierre says it may have been composed as early as 1985, but it was not released until 1987. Another points out Sleezy D's "I've Lost Control" (1986) was the first to be released on vinyl, and it's impossible to know which track was created first."

In that case this track, WHICH WAS RELEASED IN 1982, was somewhat ahead of its time:

J.J. CALE: Tijuana

A haunting song from JJ:

And the studio version:


Tom Jones performs 'Help Yourself' for an audience of rather demure females who appear to eschew knicker-throwing for handkerchief-profferring. The song was released July 1968 and reached No. 5 in the charts:

Here is 'It's Not Unusual', from around the same time. As one youtube viewer commented: "HE'S STILL ALIVE AND MAKING ALL WOMEN GO AFTER HIM." Indeed.

CHARLOTTE CHURCH: Don't Think About It

Missed your chance to buy this on QVC? See it here! I know, I was dubious too, but it is quite good:


ortoPilot's international collaboration with New York based Twintapes:

HOLY FUCK: Red Lights

Holy Fuck is an electronic rock band based in Toronto, Canada. This may be a Gorillaz rip-off, and a blatant attempt to create a viral video, but that bass player is one cool cat:


Are these fellows from Southern California? No...southern London, apparently:

ELLIE FORD:Take Me To Shore

Performed on a Brighton Balcony:


I had a conversation with Nancy Sinatra on twitter the other night. Yes, I HAD A CONVERSATION WITH NANCY SINATRA. Here is my brief tribute:

These Boots Are Made For Walkin', written by Lee Hazlewood and released in 1966:

Title track from the fifth James Bond film, starring Sean Connery as 007. Music by John Barry, lyrics by Leslie Bricusse. A great song, and a great film:

Frank and Nancy:

THE SLITS: Typical Girls

I'm not sure, but I am guessing Julien Temple had a hand in this video for The Slits:

DIANA VICKERS: My Wicked Heart (acoustic version)

Nice acoustic version of her single:

GRINDERSWITCH: Pickin the Blues

The theme tune to John Peel's Radio One show, a nifty tune in its own right, framed many thousands of hours of splendid music:

Wednesday, 27 October 2010


Gregory Isaacs with Roots Radics singing Night Nurse live at Reggae Sunsplash 1983 in Montego Bay, Jamaica:


The Virgins are an American band formed in 2006 in New York, consisting of Donald Cumming (vocals, guitar), Wade Oates (guitar), and Nick Ackerman (bass).

Great bass line on this track:


I, Ludicrous is a three piece pop music ensemble, formed in South London in 1985, by John Procter and David Rippingale ("Will Hung"). The band sprang to notoriety at the end of 1987, when their debut flexi release ("Preposterous Tales") reached Number 11 in John Peel's Festive Fifty.

I, Ludicrous are still producing music today, and play occasional live dates, primarily in London. In January 2008, Martin Brett from Voice of the Beehive joined the band on bass guitar. (Wikipedia).

Preposterous Tales:

We're The Support Band: Great 'Thunderbirds' footage here; no, that's not Wayne Rooney on the drums:

Global Businessman (at 'The Greenhouse Effect' 10/04/10):

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

THE IGNERENTS: Radio Interference / I Won't Be There

Ask anyone what punk is (or was) all about and they will probably mention The Sex Pistols, swearing at Bill Grundy on the telly, The Clash, bondage trousers, safety pins and mohican haircuts. They may claim that it all started in the USA. All correct, perhaps, but only a small part of the story. Punk was a youth movement that led from 1976 onwards to the formation of thousands of new groups across the country. Every town of any size developed a new music scene, and any village of more than a few hundred people had its own version of "The Infested", "The Rancid" or "The Vomitones". My own corner of the UK, around Canterbury, Whitstable, Margate and Herne Bay in Kent, was no exception, and I latched onto a number of groups, particularly The Ignerents.

The Ignerents were formed in 1977 in Whitstable, Kent, by brothers Chris 'Stax' Harris (bass) and Steve Harris (guitar), vocalist Kevin Holmes (soon replaced by Ben Challis), neighbour Mark Leighton on guitar (later repalced by Nick Appleton), and drummer Stan 'Gretsch' Littlejohn.

The group released one single in 1979 (Radio Interference b/w Wrong Place Wrong Time) on local label Ace Records and then re-released it on their own 'Rundown' label.

Manager Phil Harris said "We are not trying to jump on the image bandwagon, but looking for the excitement that has been brough to music by the new wave.. " Times/Observer Sep 1977.

At the time I thought the Ignerents were the best group in the history of rock 'n roll...and I was right. I still think they are...and I am still right. Here is their single:

...and here's another blistering track:

Monday, 11 October 2010

When an "illegal immigrant" has the X Factor

I have confessed it before and I will confess again – I watch the X Factor, and I like some of the singers that have appeared on the programme. Along with quite a few other viewers (apparently 250, 000 have signed up to a relevant facebook site) I was taken, in the latest competition, by the brief performances of Gamu Nenghu, and was surprised when Cheryl Cole told her “...for now, it’s a no”, and she was off the show. Whatever criteria were used it did seem odd that after three perfect vocals Gamu was eliminated in favour of others whose attempts seemed less polished. Maybe Gamu was considered not to have “pop star potential”, but there also seemed to be something odd in the way Cheryl C (or is it back to T now?) delivered the bad news. Then, as most of you will undoubtedly have heard, it emerged that Gamu and her family faced the very real possibility of removal from the U.K. to Zimbabwe, the country of their birth. There has been much speculation about the reasons for the threat of removal; this BBC report, quoting the family’s solicitor, seems to be accurate. 
The tabloid press must have had a pretty hard time with this, wanting to boost circulation by riding the wave of popular support for Gamu whilst also not wanting to stem their relentless tide of anti-immigrant propaganda. Some red-top articles have been sympathetic to the family, only to be followed by a tirade of “send-them-home” abuse in the readers’ comments section. I wish all the X Factor contestants well, but I would have liked Gamu to continue to hear more of her singing. But this is of course a triviality compared to the threat, to her and her family, of removal to Zimbabwe. So, just to do my bit, I will confront some of the arguments I have encountered on this matter: 

“They are illegal immigrants and should be sent back.” 

The family have been staying in the U.K. legally, on the mother’s visa. Her application for renewal of the visa was recently refused, but, as the family’s solicitor has argued, this is likely to be down to an administrative error. When the renewal was refused the family were given time to leave the U.K. voluntarily; to date this deadline has not been reached and so the family are still here legally. It also seems likely that there will be either an appeal or a judicial review of the case, and the family will then be allowed to remain, at least until a further determination is made.
It has also been suggested that the removal of Gamu, who has spent most of her childhood in the United Kingdom, would itself be illegal as a breach of both the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act. 

“Gamu should not get special treatment.” 

She deserves fair and humane treatment. Many immigrants are not treated fairly and humanely, as this excellent article shows, so this becomes an argument for improving the treatment of immigrants generally, not for removing Gamu and her family. The fact that many immigrants are treated unjustly is no argument for treating this particular family unjustly. The publicity and campaigning for Gamu may benefit immigrants generally by highlighting the injustices of “border control” and the immigration system. 

“Gamu’s mother is a benefit cheat.” 

This is not the view of the family’s lawyer, who said “...Mrs Ngazana [Gamu’s mother] was advised by the Inland Revenue that she was entitled to claim Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit and that it was aware of her immigration status.” 

There are, of course, many more general arguments relating to the immigration debate, covered by hundreds of thousands of web. A recent analysis for The Financial Times reached some conclusions that might come as a surprise to many: 

- The notion that natives inevitably lose out when immigrants take jobs was dismissed as “misguided”. 

- “Looking at the UK workforce as a whole, the rapid influx of migrants over the past decade has in fact had little impact on wages” (though where it has had an impact, the poor have mostly been the ones to lose out. Then again, “It is worth pointing out that many of those at the bottom end were themselves originally migrants). 

- “Despite lurid headlines about benefit scroungers, there is little evidence to support fears that migrants take more money out of the economy than they put in overall” 

- “Research by Christian Dustmann at UCL, a leading authority in the field, shows migrants from eastern Europe are putting far more into the economy than they take out” 

- Probability of natives claiming benefits: 39.7%.  Probability of immigrants from east European countries that joined the EU in 2004 claiming benefits: 16.4%. 

So, in conclusion, Gamu and her family should stay...and so should many others who have been branded as “illegal immigrants.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010


I like Seven Summers a lot. I fear that X Factor may help Matt Cardle but spell the end of this band (assuming they still exist).

Monday, 4 October 2010


The new single by Mark Ronson is a real ear worm. This is the performance from "Later...". Apparently that is not Deirdre Barlow on the vocal.

MORRISSEY: Everyday Is Like Sunday

Mozza at The Move festival in Manchester, 2004. He starts by singing what I think is Subway Train, by The New York Dolls.