Thursday, 29 September 2011

It was a day in late September

It's always worth checking out singles on Roulette, as you've a chance of digging up some buried treasure on the cheap; Geraldine Hunt's You Brought Joy is just such a find. Co-written and co-produced by Leroy Hutson no less - the man who replaced Curtis Mayfield in The Impressions before creating a fine solo legacy - this 1973 single is a 70s soul gem. The "it was a day in late September" thing? It's the song's opening, which has always struck a chord. That's all.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The Letter 5

A one-shot act on Flying Nun, The Letter 5's closest cousin would be The Chills' stately semi-psychedelia of Brave Words and the precise classicism of Sneaky Feelings. The baroque pop of Haunted House is the strongest track out of the seven on their 1991 ep. This is all I know.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

The Jesus and Mary Chain: Loud, Spotty and Weird

The Mary Chain were Smash Hits' cover stars, 16-29 July 1986.
"Obviously I find him incredibly irritating like today and obviously he does with me too. When I was younger, I used to pour boiling water over his back."

"When we make a record," fumes Jim, "it should go to number one."

"I couldn't even lift a TV," laughs William. "We've never been smash-up-hotel-room-types," agrees Jim. "If I go into a hotel room and the towels aren't properly arranged, I complain."

"When the group's gone, we'll have left behind these wonderful records and they will always be remembered. They might not get into the charts but so what?"

Monday, 12 September 2011

The Visitors live in 1988

This live recording features old favourite Never Has Never Will (there's a kinship with McCarthy there, I reckon) and an unreleased song, Lovelorn and Dopey.

I got a fair few demo tapes back in the late 80s. The Visitors one I thought then was the best; Matinee were right to issue their recordings, Nuggets style, in 2000. If you haven't got that collection, Miss, grab your chance.

I asked former Visitors singer Tim Hopkins about this. After expressing relief that this was made after he'd left the band he exclaimed:
Blimes a desk recording! I have half an idea this was made at a show I wasn't at, maybe supporting the Bodines at Exeter Lemon Grove.

Friday, 9 September 2011

The Bats: Other Side Of You live in 1991

The Bats on top form, live in Invercargill in 1991, a reminder, among other things, that they've shone brightly for decades and that Paul Kean is as essential to the indiepop bass sound as Chris Hillman:

You'll know that there's a new Bats album, Free All Monsters, out next month and there's a video for that song? It sounds more like At The National Grid than The Guilty Office. On balance, this could be a good thing; TGO has got the greater share of pop classics (if there's ever a post-Compiletely, The Orchard will be one of the key songs), but ATNG is stronger start to finish:

Thursday, 8 September 2011

David Woods - On The Green Alone

Tiger & Woods' recent Through The Green album confirmed them as masters of (new genre alert!) disco-funk-boogie, although as the new songs weren't quite so hot as the old, it was a really a collection of their singles from the past two years with a few add-ons.

David Woods' new ep, On The Green Alone, matches the quality of his Tiger & Woods singles. If you think that two of the best singles of the early 90s are En Vogue's My Lovin'(You're Never Gonna Get It), which forms the basis of On The Green Alone's lead track, License To Drill, and Shanice's I Love Your Smile, and you like your disco sleazy in the NYC early 80s style, then you'll love this.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Electric Empire: Baby Your Lovin

In Australia last year, a friend was bemoaning the tide of domestic soul and funk. He hadn’t been listening to The Transatlantics, The Bamboos or Kylie Auldist; this year, the case for Australian soul has been made even stronger by the astonishing Cactus Channel debut and, now, Baby Your Lovin by Electric Empire which beautifully recalls that tightly relaxed Hi soul sound and whose distinctive bassline had me reaching for Turn Back The Hands Of Time by Tyrone Davis.

I expect my friend is right in saying that there is a lot of crappy soul in Australia; there’s a lot of crappy music of every genre everywhere. I do know, however, that there’s some brilliant soul coming out of Australia. I bet there’s some I haven’t heard yet. Any recommendations welcome.