Tuesday, 7 June 2011

THE NAMES: Living Underground

A great punk band from Canterbury, contemporaries of The Ignerents (see label on right). I had the pleasure of seeing this lot live many times around 1979-81. Bass player Steve Conway wrote on 'ReverbNation':

"Originally The Names began mucking about with tunes when they were at Simon Langton [School] in Canterbury. This was just when new bands like The Buzzcocks, The Drones, The Adverts etc. were being played in the 6th Form Common Room...Of course it was not all smooth sailing, especially when Jim Hackford admitted a liking to Linda Ronstadt. Oh yes, and some people were into 'Yes' I think. I don't know who they were or what became of them. But these broad minded boys from the same stable as 'Caravan' and 'Soft Machine', soon found their own sound, away from Jimmy Dick's "KISS' albums and Capon's 'Bonzo Dog DooDah Band'
The original line up was: Simon Terry, John Lewis, Steve Conway, Jim Hackford. The final members still included Steve and John, but with the brilliant Russ Lax on drums, nicked from Billy Childish's 'Pop Rivets' when they were all at college together. This sounds like a bit of PEDIGREE! - (and I don't mean the dog's dinner!)."

This track bears some resemblance to The Jam's 'Going Underground' from the same year, but I can vouch for the fact that The Names' song predates the release of the Weller & Co single by some months.

Friday, 20 May 2011

BOB DYLAN: Friday (Rebecca Black)

Respect to Bob for recognising the potential in this song. That's the mark of a real genius.


I have asked myself this exact question. Many times.

Monday, 16 May 2011

JESSE SYKES: Your Side Now

Christened 'Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter' in 2002 (based in Seattle, WA.), singer-songwriter Jesse Sykes and guitarist Phil Wandscher (who co-founded Whiskeytown along side Ryan Adams), began what has become their long lived musical partnership. Though oft-saddled with the “alt-country” tag, of late Sykes and Co. are moving into some heavier, darker territories. In fact “The Sinking Belle” has already become an underground classic among followers of the unlikely art-metal movement centered around the Southern Lord label. (Jesse sang and wrote the lyrics and melody of 'The Sinking Belle'). The band has toured with Earth, a group commonly acknowledged as one of the major progenitors of Drone Doom (and another member of the Southern Lord roster) and psych-rock maestros Black Mountain.

MARINE GIRLS: A Place In the Sun

Marine Girls recording on Cherry Red Records. This video is from the Pillows & Prayers DVD:


Nerina Pallot with a lovely track from her album 'Year Of The Wolf':

Monday, 21 February 2011

JESSIE J: Do It Like A Dude

Jessie J at The Brits 2011:

ADELE: Someone Like You

The organisers of The Brit Awards 2011 decided that the focus should be on music. Not exactly a revolutionary idea, you might think, but the show was a big improvemnet on last year's effort. Here is Adele's performance:

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

THE DRONES: Just Want To Be Myself

Great track from 1977:

FLEETWOOD MAC: The Green Manalishi

SID PRESLEY EXPERIENCE: Hup 2 3 4 / Firewater

The Sid Presley Experience in their debut television appearance on The Tube (UK) 1985. The volume is a bit low on the recording, so turn it up:

And another one:

STATES OF EMOTION: The Unsung / Perfectly Blue

From their MySpace site:

STATES OF EMOTION are four youthful, passionate, song writers, hell bent on providing a sound drenched in anthemic melody to unite the masses. Set against an eerily optimistic backdrop, the Essex quartet thrive on a combination of melodic guitars, pounding skins and pulse raising vocals to produce a sound that's ship set sail from English shores a long time ago. Creating a sound this unique at a time when the British music scene is at its diverse best can only represent a band with an unpredictable but explosive future. With a compelling unity that has come from playing music together since the age of 14, these groove laden southern upstarts will be able to send shudders from the spit & sawdust venues of a city near you to the rapture of the most illustrious festivals.

'Prefectly Blue' live at Glastonbury, 2009:

Tuesday, 8 February 2011


Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks backstage getting her make-up done (by Christine McVie I think) as she sings along to a "Wild Heart" demo track. I think it sounds a lot better than the recorded version:

LAURYN HILL: Mystery Of Iniquity / I Find It Hard To Say (Rebel)

From the MTV Unplugged concert:


BAD COP: Daylight

From the Lake Fever Sessions Next Big Nashville 2009 Showcase:

Friday, 4 February 2011

THE JAM: In The City

Since it pre-dates digital cameras and phonecams there's not a huge amount of live footage on the web of punk bands from the 70s. This is from a German TV doc, "Punk In London" (1977) and gives a pretty good idea of what those gigs were like. The Jam, with a very youthful Paul Weller, bash out "In The City":


A catchy song and music video with a very direct political message from Joel Veitch, hosted by bloggerheads:


Janelle Monae's simple but effective video, reminds me of Duffy's video for "Warwick Avenue, but that's no bad thing:


From the latest album by lo-fi band The Atomic Penguins