Monday, March 31, 2008

How does it feel to know you've just won again?

Nothing released this year has really set this pulse racing but I sense a tripping, hopping cavalry may be about to canter over a nearby hillock, turntables in saddle-bags. Portishead have a new album, Third, which hits the outlets in April. The early reviews are glowing (Uncut magazine was practically salivating) and I shall be adding this product to my Amazon wishlist forthwith. I’m tempted by the latest Nick Cave recording, Dig, Lazurus, Dig!!!, as well. I must confess that the brooding Antipodean and his acclaimed recordings have crept cannily under this radar for years but I appreciated the new single – the album’s title track – and, without wanting to appear a slave to the critics’ outpourings, I have read fine things about the new stuff. I note that Robert Forster has a new album called The Evangelist out, featuring, I believe, at least one song co-penned by his former Go-Betweens partner-in-rhyme, the late Grant McLennan. Again, the critics seem to love it. Happily, there is an online stream of the long player here. It does sound lovely. Frankly, anything to do with The Go-Betweens leaves me misty-eyed.

Again, I was lured and tempted by the Oxfam ‘three tapes for a quid’ shelf on Saturday. I bought The Story of The Clash, Volume One which features mainly early songs by the punk legends. Verily, who could tire of Police and Thieves? I also picked up a copy of Sound On Sound by Bill Nelson’s Red Noise. This looked intriguing. I guess Bill Nelson is better known for his work with Be Bop Deluxe but I’ve heard of Red Noise and noted an interesting merger of post-punk attitude and pioneering electronica. Howe’er, the tape is broken so I shall have to wait to discover the greatness – or otherwise – of Nelson! The third spool contains a long player that I already own on vinyl but have not played for many a merry year: George Best by The Wedding Present. It sounds wonderful, unwithered by age. From the breathy splendour of Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft to the witty evocation of gawkish first love that is A Million Miles, this recording brings back many fond memories of John Peel Festive Fifties, sweaty mosh-pits and countless carefree capers. All the songs are wondrous indie gems with much darkness lurking behind the wit, riffs and repartee: My Favourite Dress is a compelling, powerful and emotional song about jealousy that always catches the breath while Give My Love To Kevin – a personal favourite of D - also resonates with rancour and bitterness directed towards a former lover. This is a splendid album that I am tempted to award ‘masterpiece’ status to, a vibrant independent belter packed to the rafters with passion, melody, intelligence and youthful ebullience. I salute it and shall play it loudly in my motor car on my next excursion. Parp! Parp!


Anonymous said...

Things audio - The Kills had escaped my radar until I saw them on Jonathan Ross,which lead to the singles loop on their website,,reminiscent of another firm favourite - PJ Harvey.

Things oval - I fear Munster's disruptive line out skills, O'Gara's surgical kicking out of hand and our lack of 'dog' in the rain.

Things visual - I have purchased a copy of 'This is England' as a birthday treat, looking forward to the music and fashion of my youth.

Things Thai - try the Blue Cafe in St Aldate for cheap & cheerful Thai lunches.


Cole said...

Wise words. I shall certainly seek the Aldgate establishment. Sadly, a deep-seated suspicion of 20th Century bands starting with 'The....' and particularly 'The K-....' means The Kills might pass me by for a while.