Wednesday, April 30, 2008

six from four

These six tracks were indeed all featured in John Peel's Festive Fifty in the early eighties, but I'm not doing this as a John Peel post per se, just fancied sharing some great music wih you, as it makes it from the vinyl to the iPod.

Is there such a thing as the best best-of ever? The Jam's Snap! must surely be a contender...

The Jam - 'Going Underground.' mp3

One of my many, many planned posts for the future is one Pete Wylie and the 7,000 faces of Wah!

Wah! Heat -'Better Scream.' mp3

It's odd to think that goth was once tagged 'positive punk' in NME, and that the tag was only applied to music (there were certainly gothic sounding music long before that, as far back as Mozart's Requiem, IMHO). So often it seems ot be used as a tag of insult or abuse, erroneously as far as I'm concerned. Certainly, many bands who came out of punk seemed to have a foot in the goth camp, to say nothing of a following.

The Damned's Machine Gun Etiquette is where they started to get gothic, and where this track comes from, though The Black Album was surprise, surprise, even more so...

The Damned -Love Song.' mp3

The curious-sounding 'Hong Kong Garden' with its' wonderful eastern overtones was a great debut single, even if the lyrics seem a little close to novelty at times.* But it was on their albums that the dark heart of this particularly gorgeous and mesmerising creature lurked, as shown on these tracks from The Scream and Join Hands. Then two years later there was Juju...

Siouxsie and the Banshees -'Switch.' mp3 (from The Scream)

Siouxsie and the Banshees -'Jigsaw feeling.' mp3

Siouxsie and the Banshees -'Icon.' mp3

Enjoy, folks...


* Oh come on: 'Chicken Chou-mein and chop suey...Hong Kong Garden Takeaway.'

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

More Peel, Vicar?

Just a quick post today, before watching Doctor Who on Catch-up TV. Mrs. 17 Seconds is watching Britain's next Top Model and I am taking the opportunity to root around for stuff I still need to complete those Peel playlists. So with my emusic subscription renewed, why not share a few of the slightly more obscure tracks I've located?

Bongwater -'Nick Cave Dolls.' mp3 (1991 Festive Fifty no.50)

Buffalo Tom -'Tail Lights Fade.' mp3 (1992 Festive Fifty no.45)

Field Mice -'Missing the Moon.' mp3 (1991 Festive Fifty no.45)

Mercury Rev -'Car Wash Hair.' mp3 (1991 Festive Fifty no.49)

Therapy? -'Teethgrinder.' mp3 (1992 Festive Fifty no.33 )

Tuscadero -'Angel In A Half Shirt.' mp3 (1994 Festive Fifty no.49)

And as always, as I promised him I wouldn't put him out of business, check out Teenage Kicks for Steve's excellent insight into it all!

See you soon, Ed

Monday, April 28, 2008

Gig review: Jamie Lidell

Jamie Lidell, Edinburgh Liquid Rooms, April 26, 2008

Two days before the release of his new LP Jim, Jamie Lidell bought his show to Edinburgh's Liquid Rooms. In the space of less than an hour, this absolute genius and his band unveiled a show that demonstrates why it is time for the public to come forward and take him to their hearts.

As with Jim, the set started with 'Another Day.' It feels like the gentlest call of arms you will ever hear on vinyl. However, live with the help of his band the song is reinvented. Particularly with the aid of his saxophonist who appears to be playing two saxophones at once (and yes, I was stone cold sober). Though the album was two days from being officially released (how much currency does that phrase still have in this age of internet leaks?), it was interesting to see and hear how different it was from the album versions.

He is clearly hugely excited to be touring with a band, though a different set-up from that which he recorded Jim with, and it's clear just how much fun the band are having. Talking to him backstage a few hours earlier, though he was still shatered from the rpevious night's gig in Glasgow, and concerned about his voice, there was no mistaking how much enthusiasm he has for this current project.

Nor should it be assumed, though, that he has forgotten his background in electronic music. There is an 'electronic workout' (where the band take off into the crowd as Lidell is left onstage alone, sampling his own voice and turning the atmosphere from seventies soul revue into a contemporary club setting. Staggering and amazing moth in terms of watching and hearing.

Whilst the album is respectful in its doffing of an aesthetic cap to soul giants like Marvin Gaye, Isaac Hayes and most of all, Stevie Wonder, live with his band, Jamie Lidell clearly demonstartes the funk in a way reminiscent of Parliament-Funkadelic. Impressive for anyone (but has been commented to the point of boredom, as a Caucasian Englishman, this feat is something else. Especially given that he sounds nothing like Jamiroquai or Simply Red).

Encoring with a version of 'Multiply' the title track of his break-through LP from 2005, the song is much quicker than on record, and yet just as effective. Jamie Lidell is an astonishing musician and performer. This is certainly the best gig I have been to this year, and if this really is the last Triptych, the organisers were wise to book him.


Jamie Lidell -'Another Day.' mp3

Jamie Lidell -'Wait For Me.' mp3

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Keep it tuned to 17 Seconds

...not that I have figured out how to do podcasts yet...but I will

It's been a busy 48 hours here at 17 Seconds towers. Trying to work my way through all the music I've been sent to review (hence the three reviews yesterday). Interviewing Jamie Lidell (lovely gent) - which will hopefully appear here soon, along with the long-promised Amplifico and Rosie Taylor Project interviews. Going to Jamie Lidell's excellent gig at the Liquid Rooms in Edinburgh (review will also appear here soon). Involved with choir competition with Mrs. 17 Seconds and friends (we're through to the next round!) Trying to keep up with everything else that needs doing, including sleep. Oh, and preparing for school

So don't abandon me, I will be back very soon.

Oh, and I got sent this mp3 from One Little Indian records, Alabama 3 covering Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart. Enjoy!

Alabama 3 -'Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division cover).' mp3

Doing It For the Kids

A few months ago I got an email from a reader called Sandy Fyfe, who was putting together a compilation of bands to raise money for the Yorkhill Children's Hospital in Glasgow. His daughter Tallie Isabelle (named after the two Go-Betweens albums Tallulah and Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express) was ill there and he wanted to raise money to help others. She is now on the road to recovery.

It's an impressive tracklisting of artists, including many favourites of 17 Seconds such as Ballboy, Wake The President (above), Ed Harcourt, De Rosa, Crash My Model Car...see this link for details of all 66 artists. There are a lot of scottish artists involved, so for those of my readers who like hearing about the scottish music scene, take a look.

For obvious reasons, I am not going to post music from it here (it's a charity CD) but you can download all 66 tracks here for £6.49

The myspace site is here

Yorkhill Children's Foundation

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Album Review: Matthew Ryan

Matthew Ryan -'Vs. the Silver State.' (One Little Indian)

'Vs. The Silver State is one of those albums that takes a while to grow on you, but it's worth making the effort to pay attention to.

Having been sent this a couple of weeks ago, it's now had quite a few plays and I've enjoyed listening to it more and more. The band (also including Brian Bequette, Doug Lancio, and Steve Latanation) conceived it as a pure Rock n Roll record. What that what constitute is anyone's guess (as always, ask X people and you'll get X=1 answers!), but I think they succeeded.

In a way, this reminds me a little of Ryan Adams' Gold album from 2001. It's rock'n' roll, as understood by the Americans, who after all invented in the 1950s. It's rootsy, and I guess in the UK might even be understood as 'Americana' with country-ish influences. We don't look to this music for sonic innovation, but we do look to it for classic feaures. It's a good, solid record with old-fashioned quality songwriting. Final track 'Closing In' is perhaps the standout track, with it's beautiful, dreamy feel it makes a perfect coda to the album.


Matthew Ryan's official website

Album Review: Alan Wilkis

Alan Wilkis -'Babies Dream Big' (Wilcassettes) which the debate about what constitutes 'pop' and what constitutes 'indie' and 'electronica' gets ever more confused...

Alan Wilkis album, Babies Dream Big is the debut release from this Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist. Conceived and recorded mostly in his home studio over the course of a year, the album blends together the soul, R&B, classic rock, and electronic music of the 70’s and 80’s. On paper (and I'm quoting the above from his MySpace page) no doubt many 'indie kids' will be asking themselves: 'Is this cool? Am I allowed to like this?'

Well, more bloody fool you if you're having to ask yourself because this is a fantastic album. A whole array of influences that stretch from Van Halen to Johnny Cash, Hall and Oates to the hipper-than -thou electronica of Air, Aphex Twin and Boards Of Canada, this album is gorgeous. Like the soundtrack to a summer that we're still waiting for (perhaps fruitlessly, here in Scotland), this album has tunes, attitude, and a lot of fun. The joy of pop, the freewill of the honest music lover.

Why deny yourself the pleasure, of this infectious retro-pop? Surrender now.


Alan Wilkis -'Milk and Cookies.' mp3

Alan Wilkis' mySpace is here with more tunes.

Album Review: Jason McNiff

Jason McNiff -'In My Time' (Snowstorm)

Jason McNiff has been described as one of the UK's best-kept secrets-and I'm going to try and expose that secret. I was sent this CD a few weeks ago by his PR; I've played this several times and am absolutely loving it.

In My Time is a mixture of compilation of old stuff and new songs, and originally intended for release overseas but now released in the UK as well. Over the course of twelve songs and fifty minutes, he utterly wins you over with his songs, voice and guitar playing.

Born of Polish/Irish descent, he has released 3 albums on London-based independent labels. He follows in a line of troubadours from the British folk blues of people like Bert Jansch, Richard Thompson and Nick Drake to the great American singer songwriters like Bob Dylan, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and Leonard Cohen. Listening to this compilation is to be utterly won over by his work.

McNiff has spent time travelling in Italy, which has hugely influenced songs on this album like 'Pilgrim Soul' 'Hills Of Rome' and a cover of the Italian folk song 'Bella Ciao.' This anti-fascist folk song was an anthem during the second world War, though he notes in his sleevenotes to the album that it has earlier origins as a work song of the rice pickers of northern Italy. Consider it a cousin of Leonard Cohen recording of 'The Partisan.' I learned 'Bella Ciao' from teaching English to Italian students; he learned it from touring with the Modena City Ramblers. As for the gorgeous 'Woody's Annie Hall' and 'Pilgrim Soul' these songs should be considered classics.

Listening to this album also encouraged me to look through the vinyl, and pick ut Michelle Shocked's classic debut The Texas Campfire Tapes. In his sleevenotes to that album in 1986, Pete Lawrence -the man who held the tape recorder- speaks of meeting a young woman who's spending a lot of time travelling, who has' a gift with words and a turn of phrase unmatched since early Dylan.' In 2008, I feel this applied just as equally to Jason McNiff.

It is time for Jason McNiff to be picked up by the British public and for the critical acclaim to translate into sales and recognition.


Jason McNiff -'Woody's Annie Hall.' mp3

Jason McNiff -'Pilgrim Soul.' mp3

As a bonus, this is from his website, is not on the album but I thought you should hear it anyway:

Jason McNiff -'Nobody's Son.' mp3

Jason McNiff website/Jason McNiff MySpace

Friday, April 25, 2008

Peel Slowly and see...part 2

A mixed bag of stuff today, from eMusic, the record collection AND wondeful readers.

This was from 1992, the year when the Weddoes made twelve chart appearances in the UK. (That's the official Top 40, not just the Festive Fifty)

Wedding Present -'Sticky.' mp3 (1992 Festive Fifty no.41)

As I continue with my massive task of collecting all the Festive Fifty stuff, I inevitably come across those bands I'd heard of but not heard. Until now...

Transglobal Underground -'Sirius B.' mp3 (1993 Festive Fifty no.49)

Transglobal Underground -'Taal Zaman.' mp3 (1994 Festive Fifty no.50)

yesterday I asked if anyone had it...within a very short space of time two readers pointed me in the direction of this track. Thank you!

Pavement -'Circa 1762 (Peel session).' mp3 (1992 Festive Fifty no.42)

And from one of the debut LPs of the decade (Slanted and Enchanted), a band like many other people I first heard courtesy of John Peel:

Pavement -'Here.' mp3 (1992 Festive Fifty no.10)

There is more coming. Much more. Watch this space. Tell your friends etc..

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Peel-related rummage

A very quick post tonight, but three tracks I have copied from the vinyl to the iPod for my listening pleasure, which I thought I would share:

Cocteau Twins -'From The Flagstones.' mp3 (1983 festive Fifty no.16)

Cocteau Twins -'Peppermint Pig.' mp3 (1983 Festive Fifty no.28)

Pavement -'Summer Babe (Winter Version).' mp3 (1991 Festive Fifty no.34, 1992 Festive Fifty no.37)

Oh, does anyone have a Pavement track called 1762? please let me know if you do!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Album Review: Jesse Malin

Jesse Malin -'On Your Sleeve.' (One Little Indian)

Oh dear God. Listening to this album from start to finish has seemed like a waste of an evening.

I should be honest: I don't have a problem with covers albums per se, and as someone who posts a fair amount of covers nor should I. Hell, I even like Siouxsie and the Banshees' Through The Looking Glass album.

There isn't anything wrong with Malin's voice which is pleasant enough, aiming as it does for Ryan Adams but sounding like the poor man's David Gray. The songs he has selected here include utter classics that I enjoy in their original form, though if you are going to cover the likes of Lou Reed's 'Walk On the Wildside', The Clash's 'Gates Of the West,' and Paul Simon's 'Me and Julio Down By the School Yard' you need to do them justice, and you need to rework them. Instead, the end result feels bland and unexciting.

This album would be fine if he were playing live in a bar performing covers, where you'd probably sing along and think how great he was. But as an artist who's already released several albums, this feels like an utter waste of time.


Jesse Malin's website

Presenting...Dom DeLuca

More amazing music which turned up in my inbox.

A couple of days ago I got a second email from Dom DeLuca. I had received an email from him a little while ago, which had joined the pile of stuff to be reviewed (a slight case of 'be careful what you wish for,' I think. I used to dream of getting sent stuff, now it seems every day another CD, CD-R or mp3 turns up and it takes me ages to deal with it). His second email spurred me into action, and i'm glad i did, because I think these three tracks are absolutely gorgeous.

Dom DeLuca seems to be filed under folk. He is based in Toronto, Canada and his album is available on iTunes and emusic in the UK, though I couldn't find a listing at Amazon.

See what you make of these...

Dom DeLuca -'Birds Of Worry.' mp3

Dom DeLuca -'It's A Sad, Sad Day.' mp3

Dom DeLuca -'Toronto.' mp3

Make friends with Dom at Myspace then buy the album if you like these.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Sisters Of Mercy

Continuing with ripping stuff from the vinyl to complete those Peel playlists. The first two made the Festive Fifty in 1983.

Many thanks to Bynar who provided the second two tracks here.

The Sisters Of Mercy -'Alice.' mp3

The Sisters Of Mercy -'Temple Of Love.' mp3

The Sisters of Mercy - 'Jolene.' mp3 (Dolly Parton cover)

The Sisters of Mercy -Emma(1984 Peel session).' mp3 (Hot Chocolate cover)

Will post a wants list soon...



There is a real buzz building about Santi White, better known as Santogold, and it's utterly, utterly deserved.

Tracks are starting to zoom around the net, and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of her album. According to her MySpace:

" Santogold is a survivor of a half-century worth of living along musical evolution’s most cutting edges. The only live act that can boast of having out-aged Barbara Bush, having outlived Mr. Miyagi and out-styled Liberace, Santogold is here with future flavor.

Already receiving weighty club rotation and airplay in urban Afghanistan and downtown Beirut, Santogold is the first act of the century to boast a post-war following on the International Space Station Mir. Following a live performance broadcast from three thousand miles off the Cape of Good Hope last June, inmates at Leavenworth Penitentiary received Santogold with a celebratory confetti parade. Just another first for the modern super group that knows no bound."

Whether this is exaggerated or not (read the above again and make your own mind up), not only does it make great copy, but her songs are just fantastic. As cool as Kelis, sassy as Beyonce, as innovative as M.I.A, (all favourites round this blog)?

You better believe it.

Santogold -'L.E.S. Artistes.' mp3

Santogold -'My Superman.' mp3

Santogold's debut album will be released in the UK on May 12 (lucky Americans get it two weeks previously). On this evidence, it will be taking up permanent residence in a stereo or mp3 player near you shortly thereafter.

Monday, April 21, 2008

...and finally

I've done four posts here today. Still, I did say I was going to try and catch up with everything.

Amongst the pleas I have made for stuff have been a couple of cover versions by the Sisters of Mercy (singer Andrew Eldritch above) of things I had heard over the years, so many thanks to both Simon and Bynar who sent me this:

The Sisters Of Mercy -'He's Got The Whole World In His Hands.' mp3

Bless you all...

Presenting...Red Light Company

Red Light Company are a five piece act from London. Their three track demo arrived in my inbox today, and as a break from marking (and posting yet more old stuff here) I gave it a listen.

And then I played one of the songs again.

Look, I know the Arcade Fire are kinda becoming a sacred cow that bloggers love (and I do like them, it's just that bloggers seem to keep going on about them)...but I really do reckon these guys might be the British answer.

Melodies that worm your way into your brain after only a listen, more atmosphere than bands have had for years...and 'With Lights Out' is soon to be a single.

I can't say you heard them here first, 'cos that wouldn't be true...

Red Light Company -'With Lights Out.' mp3

and give these demos a listen:

Red Light Company demos (zip file).

Red Light Company Myspace

Still Keeping It Peel

Bizarre confession time...

Like many bloggers (and indeed many non-bloggers), I own an iPod. And like many iPod owning folks, the concept of the Playlist on it has replaced the idea of making compilation tapes for yourself. Face it, takes less time, can be changed, not constrained by the time limitations, though 'Nanny In Manhattan' by the Lilys was a song that completed many side ones of C90s because it was very short.

No, the confession is that I'm currently in the process of assembling Playlists for all of John Peel's Festive Fifties from 1976 to 2004.

Hell, I never said I was cool. But I'm not the only the devotee of Peel out there. It's time consuming, but fun listening back to it all, as they gradually grow.

Much of it I have on CD and therefore on the iPod. But I'm now utilising the wedding gift of the USB turntable that Mrs. 17 Seconds and I got last year to start filling some of those gaps. Quite a few don't seem to be on either iTunes or emusic either...

...So why not share some of those songs with you?

Their debut single from 1985, and the first of many entries they would have, from one of the years the festive Fifty was more than fifty songs long.

That Petrol Emotion -'Keen.' mp3(1985 Festive Fifty no.70)

Question for people with too much time on their hands; In the 1984 Festive Fifty, two three track singles had all of their tracks in the Festive Fift. One was the Cocteau Twins 'The Spangle Maker' -most famous track 'Pearly Dewdrops' drops (and I'm posting the other two tracks here)....but what was the other?

Cocteau Twins -'The Spangle Maker.' mp3 (1984 Festive Fifty no.4)

Cocteau Twins -'Pepper-tree.' mp3 (1984 Festive Fifty no.49)

Finally, the Soup Dragons, like a fair few other bands, had entries in the Festive Fifty only when they weren't commercially successive. IMHO, this is a hundred times better than their cover of 'I'm Free.'

Soup Dragons -'Hang Ten!' (1986 Festive Fifty no.17)

Finally, if you need more Festive Fifty fixes, try Fades In Slowly and Teenage Kicks

Oh, and to anyone who's sent me music and wonders why I haven't commented on it...please hold on, I'll get there in time!

Album Review: Box Social

Box Social -'Get Going' (No Karma).

Although this album was released in September last year, it's profile seems to have been quite low so far. I was sent a couple of mp3s a month or so ago which I liked, posted and have now been sent the entire album to review.

Having played this several times and considered it, I have to conclude that it's fun, if not lifechanging. 'Big T,' one of the mp3s I previously posted, is probably the standout track. In some ways, the Box Social are rather like an old-fashioned rock band, to these ears it's more reminiscent of say Weezer or Vampire Weekend (if the latter had spent more time listening to emo-type stuff rather than Paul Simon's Graceland). Whether or not the band are 'emo' or not is a question that you might be better asking a fourteen year old than a thirty one year old... but you get my drift. Songs to sing along with, punch the air to, rather than listening to when in despair.

On positive reflection, though, it's a summery kind of indie rock album, and could yet prove itself to be a sleeper hit.


The Box Social -'Big T.'

Sunday, April 20, 2008

An undiscovered scots' treasure

The lady in the photo above is one Frances McKee, perhaps best known to a genration of indie fans as the lady who was in the Vaselines (Kurt Cobain's favourite band etc..etc..).

Having posted on the Vaselines a couple of weeks back, I thought I'd post a couple of songs by her band from the early part of the decade, Suckle. These two tracks appeared on compilations on the seminal Chemikal Underground label, which may well be your best place of sourcing them to buy, gievn that they are not on either iTunes or emusic in the UK.

By the way, I knew Kurt Cobain loved their music, but I hadn't realised that his and Courtney Love's daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, was named after her.

Suckle - 'To Be King.' mp3

Suckle -'Saturn.' mp3

Frances McKee's Myspace

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Some Covers For Saturday Part VI

Just as it says on the tin...

Was never into boy bands of the nineties, just represented everything I couldn't stand then or what was it about this tune?

Wedding Present - Back For Good.' mp3 (Take That cover, obviously)

The Breeders cover of The Who's So Sad About Us may well have been a dig at the fact that the Pixies (this was 1992) were about to call it a day for a decade, as it were.

The Breeders -'So Sad About Us.' mp3 (The Who cover)

I'm not sure where I picked up this mp3, but it's a Pavement song done by Cat Power. Hooray!

Cat Power -'We Dance.' mp3(Pavement cover)

The Pet Shop Boys are geniuses. Carter USM knew this too:

Carter USM -'Rent.' mp3 (Pet Shop Boys cover)

Is the original artist or the cover the guiltier pleasure here? Discuss...Oh, and if anyone can send me the cover of Hot Chocolate's Emma done by The Sisters Of Mercy (yes, you DID read that correctly), the address is on the top right hand side of this blog).

Cud -'You Sexy Thing.' mp3 (Hot Chocolate cover)

And finally, something completely different...

Grace Jones -'La Vie En Rose.' mp3 (Edith Piaf cover) (and yes, that's Grace Jones at the top)

See you tomorrow...

UPDATE: thanks to all the readers who sent me the Sisters of Mercy's cover of Emma, especially Craig who sent it to be three times. Here it is:

Sisters Of Mercy -'Emma.' mp3(Hot Chocolate cover)

...and in the unlikely event that anyone can help with sourcing a copy of the Sisters of Mercy playing 'He's Got the Whole World In His Hands' (someone I knew had this years ago on a cassette, supposedly from the 1987 Glastonbury festival but I could have misunderstood that) please let me know.

Friday, April 18, 2008

I'm still here...honest!

What can I say, I go back to work, can't post daily...and anyone would think I was giving up!

No, still here, still with a massive pile of CDs, emails and mp3s to review over the weekend, and I get Monday off, so expect more regular postings here.

Obviously the blog isn't a job but it isn't a part-time thing.

Thinking about this lead me to post this classic satirical track:

Television Personalities -'Part-Time Punks.' mp3

...and having done that, there had to be some more PUNK of the early eighties variety:

Conflict -'Mighty and Superior.' mp3

Anti-Nowhere League -'Streets Of London.' mp3 (Is Ralph MacTell's reaction to this recorded?)

Anti-Pasti -'No Government.' mp3

See you very soon...XX

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Gig review: Kills/These New Puritans

Edinburgh Liquid Rooms, April 15 2008

These New Puritans are one of those names that I've heard of and heard bits of but nothing had prepared me for this. Very loud, no extremely noisy and excellent. My mate compares them to Squarepusher and Hard-Fi having a punch-up in a dustbin (thanks for letting me use that, Gordon!) with Primal Scream circa XTRMNTR and Peter Hook pitching in as well.It's bass heavy and utterly wonderful. Music to lose yourself in. They have so much echo on the vocals that you cannot make out what they say. This does not matter one iota. the final track features the bass player helping out on drums while the singer ramblings sound 'dubbed out' over white noise. This band are something special.

We wait ages for the Kills but the DJ or whoever plays pretty much the entirety of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, and let's face it, that's an album you can never hear enough. This evening, as I wait for the Kills to come onstage is time to reflect: the first time I saw the Kills they were the support act to Primal Scream (Edinburgh Corn Exchange, December 1992) and one of the most amazing acts I'd ever seen. The debut LP Keep On Your Mean Side appeared six months later and did not disappoint. Two years later the band dropped No Wow. Not as acclaimed as their debut but by now the band were as likely to appear at fashion shows as scuzzy gigs. They played a good set at the Liquid Rooms that night, but at the time, the future Mrs. 17 Seconds and I were exhausted, slumped across the tables upstairs as we listened. And three years later, the band have released Midnight Boom. In the interceding years, Alison Mossheart has contributed vocals to Placebo's fifth album, the band have recorded a version of 'I Call It Art' by Serge Gainsbourg...oh yes, and Jamie has a celebrity girlfriend.

But enough of that. Tonight The Kills deliver on every promise and hint of greatness and slay the audience (given half a chance, I bet they'd actually do that, too). They tear into Midnight Boom's opener 'U.R.A. Fever' and then into 'Pull A U.' If you'd ever forgotten why you liked the Kills then a show like this slaps you around the face and reminds you exactly why, dammit. 'No Wow' bristles with what I can only describe as gorgeous tension, while 'Kissy Kissy' is as bluesy as ever. As for 'Fried My Little Brains' and 'The Good Ones...' these guys are intense, in the best possible way. Hell, their encore 'Love Is A Deserter' manages to incorporate what sounds like the riff to 'Funky Town' and just explodes.

To watch the Kills on stage as Alison and Jamie do things that go beyond description with their instruments and sound, still just the two of them and a drum machine, is to understand that rock'n'roll lives, pouts and sneers still. They may sing that they're tired of being cheap and cheerful, and really, they are so much more.

Ignore these bands at your peril.


These New Puritans -'Navigate, Navigate.' mp3

Kills -'Cheap and Cheerful.' mp3

The Kills' official website/The Kills' MySpace

These New Puritans official website/These New Puritans Myspace

Gig review: Radar Bros.

Edinburgh Cabaret Voltaire, April 14 2008

'Hello, everyone, we're the smokey mountain boys,' quips Jim Putnam, as the Radar Bros. launch into 'Shoveling Sons.' (yes, only one 'l')

Wow. Of all the tunes I really wanted to hear, this was the one -and they've started with it! The Radar Bros. are in the UK promoting their new album Auditorium. Though they are based in LA, given that their records are released in the UK via seminal scottish indie label Chemikal underground, it's appropriate that they should be here in Scotland.

Unfortunately, the audience at the gig is woefully fin, and whilst Cabaret Voltaire isn't one of Scotland or even Edinburgh's bigger venues, it's a real shame that such a great live act as this is playing to such a thin audience.

But, no matter. Because the hour long set is an absolute treat for those of us who are there. For those who've never heard Radar Bros, their sound, without wishing to pigeonhole, would be filed under Americana, rather than, say, Indie or Country & Western. Jim's voice is unlike Jason Lyttle's but the music is reminsicent of Grandaddy minus the Psychedelic element or Pavement circa Terror Twilight.

By the third song, 'Rock Of the Lake' I'm easing into a gentle mellow state, completely due to the music. Lake's obviously feature a fair bit in their titles, as they also play 'Lake Life' from the new album. Having never seen them live before, but been aware of them since they were first released in the UK, I hugely rate this show.

Given their back catalogue, technically they could have played for longer, but the hour they do give us sends us out into the Monday night air refreshed and cheered. Come back soon, guys.


Radar Bros. -'Shovelling Sons.' mp3

Radar Bros. -'Lake Life.' mp3

Radar Bros. website/Radar Bros. myspace

Monday, April 14, 2008

Joolz Denby - poet, artist, legend

Her Myspace profile describes her as a cultural revolutionary.

It's a pretty accurate description. I guess one of Ed 17 Seconds' alltime heroes doesn't really fit the bill, but it's true.

She emerged in the eighties, described as a 'punk poetess' though there was more to her than that. She hails from Bradford, a city she's obviously fiercely proud of and is a cultural ambassador for the city. She's an artist, who worked and continues to work closely with New Model Army, designing many of their sleeves. She wrote thought-provoking poetry and prose, sometimes sad, quite often angry, yet frequently funny and always utterly brilliant (anyone who has a copy of her book Mad, Bad And Dangerous To Know should get in touch). In the last decade she has also published four novels that have to be read: Stone Baby, Corazon, Billie Morgan and Borrowed Light, all of which have to be read and re-read.

I finally met her in early 2000 at a New Model Army gig (she's the long-term partner of singer Justin Sullivan, aka Slade The Leveller) and nervously trotted up to say. I needn't have worried; she was very approachable, and I later met on three separate occaions, Glastonbury, the Edinburgh Book Festival and at a solo Justin Sullivan gig in Edinburgh. In 2000 when I was writing my Masters dissertation, I corresponded with her, and she gave me some thought-provoking correspondence via email.

She also made some excellent records, mostly in the eighties, and this is one I'd love 17 seconds readers to hear:

Joolz -'Mad, Bad and dangerous To Know.' mp3

If you like it, please buy it!

Joolz Denby's official website

The online shop. You must, you really must!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I know i shouldn't...but I do!

Back in 2005, a friend of mine, who's accompanied me to many gigs and made many recommendations texted me: 'You're not going to believe this...but the new Stereophonics' single is really good!'

'You're right,' I responded. 'I'm not.'

It wasn't always this way. I'd loved the Stereophonics around the release of their first album Word Gets Around, and had seen them supporting James in late 1998, around the time of the 'Bartender and the Thief' single (within a matter of months it might have seemed surprising it was that way round). The early songs, particularly the sad 'Local Boy In The Photograph' about a suicide was great.

Then somehow, from second album Performance and Cocktails onwards, as Sterophonics started to sell a lot of records, I found their music increasingly dreary. By the time of their third album Just Enough Education To Perform I'd started saying I hated them. Like Travis, I didn't hate them for becoming successful, I'd gone off them because they were no longer any good, and it was bands like them that were making 'indie' seem synonymous with dull, trad rock, rather than out of the mainstream innovation.

So when 'Dakota' got to no.1 in 2005, it was a bolt from the blue. I can't say that I've started buying their records again, nor am I likely to, but this is a great song. Posted here with one from when I really liked 'em.

Stereophonics -'Local Boy In The Photograph.' mp3

Stereophonics -'Dakota.' mp3

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Album Review: James

James -'Hey Ma' (Fontana)

Blimey. Having seen James back in action at Glasgow's Academy, I knew they were in fine form live. So I was looking forward to hearing this album. Having played it six times since it arrived less than forty-eight hours ago, I'm finally sitting down to write the review.

First of all, the lineup that recorded the legendary Gold Mother album - probably James' high point creatively so far, is back on this album.Tim Booth, Jim Glennie, Larry Gott, Saul Davies, Mark Hunter and Dave Baynton-Power are back with trumpeter Andy Diagram whose presence is all over this album in the most glorious way possible. Rather like Radiohead would find a couple of years' later with 'Creep,' James' biggest hit single 'Sit Down'in 1991 became an albatross around the band's collective neck and they refused to play it live for a time. But they produced many fine singles ('She's a Star') and albums (Laid, Millionnaires) afterwards. Like U2, James went on to work with Brian Eno producing them, who helped them to produce genuinely brilliant atmospheric tracks 'uplifting songs about insecurity, disaffection and mental illness.' They split in 2001, but solo albums and an appearance by lead singer Tim Booth in 2006's the Manchester Passion later, here they are.

And what an album. Over half a dozen albums -couldn't tear myself away -I've fallen in love, head over heels with this album. Over the course of eleven songs, from opener 'Bubbles' to closer 'I Wanna Go Home' the album never lets up for a second. Many artists of both songs can't write convincingly about their children (and Lennon & McCartney weren't infallible here either), but Bubbles manages to do that. Title track 'Hey Ma' with it's jaunty 'Hey ma the boys in body bags' is jaunty and uplifting - James were always quite political, and then as now you don't have to look below the surface. Alas, it's probably too political to be a single (by which I mean Radio won't play it, and the record company wouldn't support them, rather than that singles shouldn't be political).

Approximately 45 minutes long, the album never dips, and not a single track feels like filler. The lyrics are sad at times, but the Booth humour is back too 'My mum says I look like Yul Brynner - too old for Hamlet too young for Lear* on Whiteboy.

Was I swept away? No, I've played it three times today already, made a friend listen to it too, and he agrees. James are back -and how.


Preview the album here at James' official website

Make friends at their MySpace

* In the unlikely event you don't know what this refers to, may I suggest you read more

Probably the most unnerving single ever made

Music in polls can be a funny thing. Leaving aside the whole issue of bias, it's weird what comes up. In a poll for the Guardian, this song came third, perhaps predictably behind Suicide's 'Frankie Teardrop'. In 1982 it was no.8 in the NME Writer's Top 50 singles of the year, beating New Order's Temptation, Dexy's Midnight Runners 'Come On Eileen' and even 'My Baby Just Cares For me' by Nina Simone.

In fact, most people would feel that the definition of a great single was one that was designed to be played again and again. And I would agree.

Except here.

This single is pretty much the exception that proves the rule. Back in 1982, after the Specials had split, with the Fun Boy Three being formed. Jerry Dammers had formed the Special AKA who a couple of years later would make one of the greatest protest songs ever, in 'Free Nelson Mandela.' This was the first post-Specials single, and managed to make no.35 in the charts, which considering it's content was no mean feat.

Featuring Rhoda Dakar, previously of The Bodysnatchers, it's a track that is harrowing in the extreme. An excellent article here at Sweeping the nation sums it up best.

The song is spoken, not sung, and certainly not rapped. It deals with the story of a woman, with appalling low self-esteem who's picked up by a guy in clothes shop, takes her clubbing and then attacks her.

In Gary Mulholland's superlative This Is Uncool: the 500 Best Singles Since Punk and Disco, he writes that he bought it, played it once, freaked out and played it once again when writing the book. He mentions that this song about rape - which horrifies the listener even more than Tori Amos' autobiographical 'Me and a gun' - had been released into an environment where a judge had accused a rape victim of 'contributory negligence' (sic) for hitch-hiking alone before an attack. No, your honour, nothing but nothing justifies this.

I post this, certainly not to shock, but because I was reminded of it whilst reading a post on the Specials over at Teenage Kicks and, even more importantly because everyone should hear this at least once. I'll understand, though, if you feel you can't face it, or feel you want to delete it afterwards.

Rhoda with the Special AKA -'The Boiler.' mp3

Friday, April 11, 2008

Album Review: Tapes 'n' Tapes

Tapes 'n' Tapes -'Walk It Off' (XL)

Oh, I hate it when this happens. In 2006 the blogosphere was abuzz with the news of Tapes 'n' Tapes debut album The Loon. It was arguably one of the most blog-indebted records since Arcade Fire's Funeral. It was clearly out of the 'indie leftfield' indebted as it was to the Pixies and Pavement and yet had a distinctive flavour of it's own.

So, two years later, the follow-up Walk It Off arrives. And I'm sad to report that, two whole listens and a few tracks I've tried to hone in on to change my mind...this is somehow just a deeply average record. It's by no means a bad record, but somehow, much as I want to, I'm not falling in love with it like I want to. Tracks like 'La Ruse' and 'George Michael' are fine in their own way, but a couple of years ago it seemed like these guys could appear and have a major impact. Much to my disappointment, I cannot see this album winning Tapes 'n' Tapes any more fans. Yeah it's got a few nice quirks, like the Pixies meets Pavement single 'Hang Them All' but this isn't an anthem, just a nice enough single. The standout track 'Dirty Dirty' with it's with refrain of 'Where did all the money go?' is redeems the album a little, but sufficiently for this reviewer.

Maybe after a few more listens my mind will change, but it's not happening now.


Daytrotter had Tapes 'n' Tapes in recently and they recorded four songs. check it out here

For earlier Tapes n' Tapes music go here at their website

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Presenting...We Do Not Negotiate With Terrorists

The snappily named We Do Not Negotiate With Terrorists cite their main interest as Withnail and I, 17 Seconds' favourite ever film (no, I really never tire of mentioning this), and also list Echo & The Bunnymen, The Specials, Gang Of Four, The Charlatans, The Smiths, The Clash, The Fall, Blondie, The Cure, Dexies Midnight Runners as amongst their other indfluences. Great tunes, snappy image, bags of just the right sort of attitude...Really, what is not to love about this Manchester band? Currently unsigned...but I can't believe it will stay that way for long.

Hell, if I had my own radio show, I'd play 'em. Sigh...

We Do Not Negotiate With Terrorists - 'Turn and Run.' mp3

We Do Not Negotiate With Terrorists -'Wrong Eyes.' mp3

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

It's dog eat dog eat dog ...

Stayed at school 'til six this evening, marking exam papers, armed with only my iPod and endless mugs of black coffee. These two tracks came on the iPod...bliss.

Adam and the Ants -'Cartrouble.' mp3

Adam and the Ants -'Never Trust A Man (With Egg On His Face).' mp3

There's so much more to the band and the man than just the big hits...

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Am I too old to mosh? Probably

Does there need to be a reason to post this?

Maybe this would have been the cut that changed it all, instead of 'Smells like Teen Spirit.'

(though that still holds a place in my heart, too).

Hell, turn it up, very very loud, and sing along.

Mudhoney -'Touch Me I'm Sick.' mp3

Monday, April 07, 2008

Oh, and just in case you're interested...

...and you sure as heck should be...

1. I interviewed The Rosie Taylor Project earlier this evening. They were absolutely lovely and their debut LP This City Draws Maps will be out in two weeks' time on Bad Sneakers.

This is a track from the said album, which they said themselves they were happy for me to put up:

Rosie Taylor Project -'A Few Words Of Farewell.' mp3

Track removed by polite request

2. Another 17 Seconds reader, Craig, emailed me an mp3, remixed in 1974 of the Pink Floyd/Syd Barrett song 'Vegetable Man' that was covered by the Jesus and Mary Chain. Thanks very much Craig, and indeed AJ for getting the whole shebang started, and ben and Graeme for sending me versions of the track. You all rule.

Pink Floyd -'Vegetable Man.' mp3

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Presenting...Bambi Get Over It

Bambi Get Over It a a Norwich based band who play folk infused indie-meets-rockabilly. A genuinely exciting and original band, they got in touch a little while ago. Matthew at Song, By Toad is already a fan, and I am happy to be added to the list. Amazingly, they only formed about six months ago but they sound like they've been together much longer than that.

The band comprises Sim Eldem (Guitar/Vocals), George Knights (Mandolin/Uh-huhs), Graham Parker (Bass), Patrick Butler (Accordion), Ling Luther (Guitar/Oompas), and Luke Gain (Drums). They made a five song demo tape, streaming on their mySpace page but George has graciously got in touch and sent me all five tracks for you to download here.

Bambi Get Over It -'Badman.' mp3

Bambi Get Over It -'Boi.' mp3

Bambi Get Over It -'Jeanie.' mp3

Bambi Get Over It -'Redwood.' mp3

Bambi Get over It - 'That Girl.' mp3

Enjoy -and let me know what you think!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

17 Seconds' Readers rule!

17 Seconds is fortunate to have some very wonderful readers indeed.

Not only has one reader offered to send me a copy of Crawdaddy by the Darling Buds until I can get my mucky paws on a vinyl copy, but another reader, Graeme, has re-sent a copy of 'Vegetable Man' the Jesus and Mary Chain cover that I posted yesterday, only in m4a, which not everyone can access.

Jesus and Mary Chain -'Vegetable Man (Syd Barrett cover).' mp3

Bless you all. There will be more to follow (currently making my way through a mountain of marking...)

Friday, April 04, 2008

Dirty Summer-they're back! And so are the Black Kids

You may remember that a few months ago, I wrote about a band from Fife, Scotland called Dirty Summer. In my write-up, I commented that there were very few bands I could say for certain that John Peel would like, but this was one band I'd risk my neck on. They are fabulous. Download their free four track EP today!

Go here to set about downloading their EP for free

Or try this

meanwhile, 17 Seconds favourites The Black Kids' debut single proper 'I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You' is out on Monday, but you can get it on iTunes now (in the UK at any rate). C'mon let's get it into the charts.

This is the official video:

And in case any of you didn't see this on the BBC the other day, this is Lenny Henry introducing them on the Jools Holland Show:

Cover versions from the 7"s...

...Just what it says on the tin. So as to keep up the covers posts but make sure I was posting stuff I hadn't posted before, these are tracks I've ripped from the b-sides of 7"s in my collection.

First up, Eddy Grant was in the Equals in the late sixties, a mixed-race British reggae band when this was quite a radical concept. They reached no.1 with the song 'Baby Come Back' later taken back to no.1 in 1994 by Pato Banton and and the Campbell Brothers from those 'Kings' of the reggae cover version, UB40. One of the Equals' other well-known songs 'Police On My Back' was covered by The Clash in the 1970s. Last year Grime or Grindie (Grime and Indie, DO keep up) Lethal Bizzle (above) covered the song, including a sample of the Clash's version.

Lethal Bizzle -'Police On My Back (Equals cover).' mp3

'What A Waster' was the world's introduction to the talents of Pete Doherty and the Libertines. Moldy peach Adam Green covered it on the b-sides of one of his solo singles 'Emily.' Pete Doherty returned the compliment by covering the Moldy Peaches' 'Who's Got The Crack?'

Adam Green -'What a Waster (Libertines cover).' mp3

This song was originally by X-Ray Spex, and Scottish indie-poppers Bis covered it on the b-side of their 1998 7" 'Action And Drama.'

Bis -'Germ-Free Adolescents (X-Ray Spex cover).' mp3

Atomic Kitten were or are a fairly irritating all-girl band in the early part of the decade, but the Sick Anchors saw the potential of this Andy McLusky (Orchestral Manoeuvres In the Dark) number and turned it into something quite heartbreaking.
The Sick Anchors were Aidan Moffat (of Arab Strap), Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai and Colin 'Sheepy' McPherson. This EP also included their version of The Fall's Bill Is Dead.'

Sick Anchors -'Whole Again (Atomic Kitten cover).' mp3

In my humble opinion, Placebo's finest moment to date in their decade-plus long career is the single 'The Bitter End.' This was the b-side to the 7" single , a cover of Boney M's 'Daddy Cool.' Whatever that might sound like down on paper, it works really well, IMHO:

Placebo -'Daddy Cool.' mp3

The Wedding Present famously released 12 7" singles, one a month in 1992. The August single was Boing! They all featured a cover version on the b-side, and that month's was Isaac Hayes' Theme from Shaft.

Wedding Present - Theme From Shaft (Isaac Hayes cover).' mp3

Ash have done some fine covers over the years, including their version of Abba's 'Does Your Mother Know?' This song, a cover of John Lennon's 'Give Me Some Truth' was the third track on the 1995 7" 'Angel Interceptor.'

Ash -'Give Me Some Truth (John Lennon cover).' mp3

BONUS: Finally not an mp3 of any of the 7"s in my collection, but an m4a (will play in iTunes) of the Jesus and Mary Chain covering Syd Barrett's Vegetable Man (THANK YOU, BEN!):

Jesus and Mary Chain - 'Vegetable Man.' mp3

Happy Birthday Mum!

This post is dedicated to my Mum who is...(you don't honestly think I'm going to say do you?) celebrating her birthday today. And no, that's not her above, but one of my Mum's favourite singers, the legendary Eartha Kitt. Eartha Kitt was the original Catwoman (literally, she played her in the 1960s TV series of Batman), who spoke out against the Vietnam War at a White House Lunch hosted by LBJ's wife in 1968 which saw her blacklisted in the US(who said McCarthyism died in the 1950s?). As a child from a mixed race background in the deep American South of the 1920s, life must have been unimaginably hard, but she took her exotic looks and and is still using them to delight and terrify generations of people decades later.

For me, it's the songs that she made in the 1950s which we would listen on car journeys (some of my contemporaries had to suffer the aural equivalent of Thatcherism in the likes of Dire Straits and other capitalist aesthetic monstrosities) such as 'Old Fashioned Girl' and 'I Want To Be Evil.' She'd horrified my maternal Grandmother, who took her songs at face value.

So Mum, here for you, is Eartha Kitt singing I want To Be Evil:

Listen to Eartha kitt here
Eartha Kitt's official website

Eartha Kitt on wikipedia

Another person that my Mum and Dad played to my brother and I when we were young was Tom Lehrer. This send-up of the Catholic Church and Vatican II is utterly hysterical. As far as I'm concerned, the likes of Tom Lehrer and Eartha Kitt were far more radical and anti-establishment than many artists could ever hope to be. Consider them the Jello Biafras and Madonnas of their day...except they're still going. According to Wikipedia, 'There is a misconception that Lehrer gave up political satire when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Henry Kissinger in 1973. He did say that the awarding of the prize to Kissinger made political satire obsolete, but has denied that he stopped doing satire as a form of protest, and asserts that he had stopped doing satire several years earlier.'

Happy birthday Ma.


Tom Lehrer website

Tom Lehrer on Wikipedia

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Album Review: Alabama 3

Album Review: Alabama 3 -'Hits and Exit Wounds' (One Little Indian)

We thought we had it all in the mid-nineties. Around 1994, 1995...Britpop ruled the world of us British indie kids. Exciting music while it might have owed a debt to the past (let's face it, music is not made in a vacuum) and we felt we'd won, when our music was being played on daytime radio. Despite what some will tell you, Britpop was not just W.A.S.P.y boys, but people from all backgrounds making music - Elastica and Echobelly were radical in terms of their make-up. There was light at the end of the tunnel, or so we thought, with the hated Conservative regime looking like it would finally come to an end.

But in August 1997, when Tony Blair and Noel Gallagher were photographed at Downing Street we were being sold out politically and musically. Blair didn't turn Britain into a socialist Utopia, and Oasis never regained what had made them so vital in their first three years. So what came into the void?

Well, in terms of UK music, as Britpop fell apart and Drum 'n' bass went back underground, it now appears that what the music press all too briefly focused on was far more important and it took place in South London. Two acts, Asian Dub Foundation and Alabama 3 provided the yin and yang of each other, and produced records that were deeply exciting that drew on music that came from all around the world. This forthcoming greatest hits set from Alabama 3 shows that the band famously describved by Irvine Welsh as the 'first band he could dance to in the daytime hours without chemical assistance' have amassed a wealth of material in the last decade or so that is shaming on the music press for forgetting about them.

Alabama 3 took parts of country and western, dance music, gospel, smaterring of hip hop and a hell of a lot of punk attitude and made fantastic songs. They called Brixton their spiritual home (their debut Exile On Coldharbour Lane is a reference to one of the main thoroughfares in Brixton). These men and women keep alive a true outlaw spirit, equal parts Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer, not least because Harmonica player Nick Reynolds is the son of Bruce Richard Reynolds of the Great Train Robbery of 1963.

Even if you only hold this CD in your hand and then listen to the songs knowing nothing of the above, this serves as a fine introduction (and a nagging reminder to this author that he needs to investigate even more too). 'Woke Up This Morning' is perhaps the band's best known song, and is included here (The press release undrelines that it has not made the band as much money as people think. Larry Love is quoted as saying : 'The only swimming pool in my back garden is made of plastic'). As is their fantastic cover version of 'Speed Of the Sound Of Loneliness'. As is almost law for greatest hits sets, there are two new tracks, a collaboration with Orbital on 'Ska'd for Life' and an Arthur Baker mix of 'Mansion On The Hill.'

This greatest hits set also, at eighteen tracks, does what can be a hard feat: namely, that the songs feel fresh and makes you feel that they have considerably mroe to offer us yet.


Hits and Exit Wounds is released on One Little Indian on April 21.

Hear Alabama 3 here

Alabama 3 websitemyspace

The Darling Buds

I've been meaning to do a post on the Darling Buds for a week or so, and in between marking school work have put together this wee feature.

The Darling Buds were formed in Wales in 1986 (different sources list the band as either being formed in Cardiff or Newport). Taking their name from H.E. Bates' novel The Darling Buds Of May, the original lineup was: Andrea Lewis on vocals, Harley Farr on guitar (the Chart Show once said that his name was Harley davidson as his dad had been a hells angel!) Original bassist Simon was replaced after the first single 'If I Said' by Chris McDonagh. 'If I Said' featured a drum machine but from the second single onwards the drummer was Bloss, later replaced by ex-Black ('Wonderful Life') drummer Jimmy Hughes. (Reportedly Feeder's Jon Lee guested on drums, and also Donna Matthews, later of Elastica played with the band on a tour). Though their sound is not dissimilar to many of the C86 bands, like The Primitives they were John Peel favourites but not on the tape itself. They were also lumped in with the so-called 'Blonde' movement...oh, you're ahead of me. Basically indie bands that had a blonde female singer and the rest of the band made of blokes in black looking moody (from what I can see the three main Blonde bands were the Darling Buds, the Primitives and Transvision Vamp; who were fronted by Wendy James, enormously popular in the UK for a while but nowhere near as good as the other two and whose music sounds very dated in 2008).

This was the Darling Buds first single in 1987, available on the CD86 compilation, and originally a self-released single.

Darling Buds -'If I Said.' mp3

This was the first of three singles on Doncaster's Native label

Darling Buds -'Shame On You.' mp3
(taken from Indie Top Twenty Volume V)

In 1988, they signed to Epic/Sony, who released three Darling Buds albums between 1989 and 1992. these tracks come from the time of ...Pop Said

Darling Buds - 'Burst.' mp3

Darling Buds - 'Hit The Ground.' mp3

Darling Buds -'You've Got To Choose (New Version).' mp3 [NOT the album version but a re-recording of the single which was released in July 1989)

Darling Buds -'Uptight.' mp3

This was originally on the ...Pop Said album as well as the Rough Trade Shops Indiepop 1 compilation

...Pop Said has been re-issued by Cherry Red and can be found at Amazon. The other two albums are unavailable at the present ime

I am still looking for a copy of second album Crawdaddy, preferably on vinyl (but might try here on Amazon). These three tracks have been picked up from the blogosphere:

Darling Buds -'It makes No Difference.' mp3

Darling Buds -'So Close.' mp3

Darling Buds -'Tiny Machine.' mp3

From the 12" single, Crystal Clear:

Darling Buds -'Crystal Clear (extended version).' mp3

In 1992 the band released their third and final album, Erotica, which I found a couple of months ago in an Oxfam shop in Glasgow. This track Sure Thing was their final single, and this version is taken from the 12" single.

Darling Buds -'Sure Thing.' mp3

Some Darling Buds websites are:

here (as part of the Elastica connection)

On Wikipedia

Another fanstite is here

Hope you enjoy this post


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Motorcycle Boy

Girl on a motorcycle...

Ever heard a track that within a few weeks of never having even heard it you can't imagine being without? Well, that track for me is by the band the Motorcycle Boy and it's their debut single from 1987 (and no.21 in the 1987 Festive Fifty) 'Big Rock Candy Mountain.' If you like the stuff I've posted by Edinburgh Legends The Shop Assistants, this might well be of interest: it's their former singer Alex Taylor who united with Meat Whiplash to form the band. This was posted by Steve over at Teenage Kicks a few weeks ago, but I managed to find a copy of the 7" this afternoon, so am deliriously happy and want to share this with you. Their stuff has long been deleted, andthey have nothing to do with the American band of the same name, so if anyone can help by sending mp3s or whatever, please do.

Motorcycle Boy -'Big Rock Candy Mountain.' mp3

Meanwhile, very chuffed by all the feedback my post on the Jesus and Mary Chain generated. One reader, Ben, got in touch to send the mp3 of the JAMC on television in America last year performing a song called 'All Things Must Pass.' So I am posting that here, as well as re-posting a Sister Vanilla track from last year's Little Pop Rock where the brothers Reid were reunited and joined up with their sister Linda to make some pretty fine things indeed:

Jesus And Mary Chain -'All Things Must Pass.' mp3

Sister Vanilla - 'K To be Lost.' mp3

Enjoy the sunshine...hell, we've even got some here in Scotland.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Under The April Skies...

William and Jim Reid from the Jesus and Mary Chain. Even my hair's never been quite that big...

It's April, supposedly the cruellest month, but I'm on holiday. It's now after midday in Scotland, so no April Fools here. Spring is starting to appear, though it would be nice if the aforementioned plumber would turn up, and the drilling outside would cease, shortly before I snap.

However, yesterday I finally got to meet JC, aka The Vinyl Villain and myself and Mrs. 17 seconds had a very nice chat with him for two hours in Glasgow. He is a very friendly guy and so what better toast him with than three tracks from the biggest thing out of East Kilbride, the Jesus and Mary Chain. And I'm not even posting anything from the debut (don't get me wrong, I love it, but there is so much more to them than that.)

Jesus and Mary Chain -'April Skies.' mp3 (My introduction to the band, via Top Of The Pops in 1987)

Jesus and Mary Chain -'Upside Down.' mp3 (The world's introduction to the Mary Chain in 1984. Signed by Alan McGee, the band indicated that they could make people's ears and eyes come out on stalks. and that was before the riots started).

Jesus and Mary Chain -'Blues From a Gun.' mp3 (Just another great track...)

The brothers are supposedly reformed (as a band, not as characters) so I live in hope...