Seven days after seeing The National I still have ‘Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks’ on repeat in my head. London does a nice line in chilled-out summer festivals these days and last Saturday The National were the perfect headliners in Victoria Park, somehow invoking audience euphoria from a set-list that veritably wallowed in melancholy. The previous night I had enjoyed a different kind up uplift in Brixton, with Loyle Carner singing about his mum again and Erykah Badu suitably eccentric in a stetson.
If you ever find yourself near a barbershop in Dar es Salaam late at night and you hear music, follow the sound. You won’t be disappointed.
This isn’t really a blog, more of a link to Bill Drummond’s hilarious new work ‘Another Side of Bob Dylan – Part Two’, courtesy of the ever-wonderful Caught By The River website. I don’t want to spoil a word, but it involves a former Timelord explaining why he has been waiting for Bob Dylan for thirty-five years, with the proposition that “he should quit his Great American Song Book shit that he has been doing, and hit the road with me, and that we should – over a period of time – go to all the places in the British Isles where nine different languages were spoken 200 years ago, and find a song from each of those places, and then he should record them and I will produce it.” It’s pure genius and has enlivened what should have been a dull three hour stop-over in Joburg airport. Follow the link and enjoy!
It’s probably not reasonable to review a thirty year old classic album, but nevertheless I have a few things to say about Neil Young’s eponymous solo debut. Like so many other record purchases over the years I bought it because of the beautiful cover. But inside is a record of rare brilliance and it’s not even one of Neil Young’s best. Somehow, despite being a fan for over thirty years, I’ve never heard it before. Not a single track. As the needle hits the groove again there’s no question what I’m doing for the rest of the night…
Every Valley, Public Service Broadcasting’s third album, is a cleverly crafted concept album about the rise and fall of Welsh coal mining. That is going to sound quite niche, but trust me, Every Valley is worth forty-five minutes of any music-lover’s time. Moreover, not least because like it says on the tin, the band take inspiration for their songs from public service broadcasting, the album is even better seen performed live. Markontour had this pleasure in Leicester last week and was completely riveted by the combination of film and music.
Following a cracking gig at Shepherd’s Bush Empire last Friday, with some time off this week I’ve been rediscovering The Wonder Stuff via Miles Hunt’s engaging ‘Diaries 86-89′, accompanied by a trip through my vinyl back catalogue, and the Stuffies’ sparking, hard-edged indie-pop.
Another great gig from Middle Kids this week makes me thinks these Aussie newcomers are going to be special. On Wednesday night sixty or so privileged punters squeezed into The Waiting Room, a nicely refurbished box of a venue below the Three Crowns in Stoke Newington. Limited space meant bassist, Tim Fitz, was curtailed in his usual stage prowling, but the band showed no such constraint in delivering a powerful collection of indie-pop songs.