Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Red Gold & Green #21 - The Dubwood Allstars

The mysterious Dubwood Allstars originally released 'Under Dubwood' in 2012 and I featured it on these very pages at the time. When a mash-up works it can be an utterly inspired thing and here is one such example - Richard Burton's narration of 'Under Milk Wood' is laid over King Tubby's 'Ali Baba' riddim with spine-tingling results. Now news reaches me that a third repress of this unique single will be made available on August 4th. Read all about it and / or order a copy here.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Hotter Colder

New LPs these days, eh? Often released on limited edition coloured vinyl, usually with gratis downloads and sometimes even enhanced with enticing free bits and bobs - but how many arrive with a tea towel designed by a member of the band? Not many I'll be bound. My copy of 'Moonshine Freeze' did though. It's the 4th album by the consistently terrific This is the Kit, a band I've championed long and loud plenty of times in the past, so I won't bang on too much, other than to note that this time around they appear on the Rough Trade record label and are produced by long time PJ Harvey cohort John Parish. Buy it, is my frankly straight forward advice.

Here are Kate Stables and Rozi Plain risking pneumonia for our entertainment.

Friday, 21 July 2017

The Slider at 45

There had been singles, lots of them, but until then, any LPs that came my way were borrowed ones, hastily taped on my portable cassette player via a handheld mic, before being returned to their rightful owner at school the following day. On July 21st 1972, 45 years ago today, 'The Slider' by T.Rex was released. Three weeks later I bought a copy of the LP while on holiday in Dorset - I was 12 years old. Many hundreds of LP's have passed into and out of my hands since then, but that very first one is still with me - and shall forever be. It all started here.

In the Summer of 2015, I had the great good fortune to meet Tony Visconti, the producer of 'The Slider' (not to mention several other cornerstones of my record collection). I stuck out my hand, gripped his, shook it warmly and said 'Thank you',  twice. 'What for?' he asked, smiling broadly. 'Everything', I said.

T.Rex - Rock On

Wednesday, 19 July 2017


Jain's debut LP, 'Zanaka' was released in November 2015 and by February 2016 had already been certified Gold in her native France. This year she's been taking her record to the world with prestigious appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Later with Jools Holland and the BBC's Glastonbury coverage. 'Makeba', the second single from the album, is a sheer pop joy and the song's accompanying video is funny and clever, throwing visual tricks and puns into the mix here, there and everywhere. One particularly interesting twist worth keeping an eye on, is that the opening balloon popping sequence visually picks up from where the video for her previous single ('Come') left off, while the surreal 'painting a zebra' bit at the end is where the clip for her next single ('Dynabeat') begins.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Remember Terry

The prolific Melbourne quartet Terry return with their second LP in the space of a year and a half, entitled 'Remember Terry'. We're hardly likely to forget them, given that in the same 18 month period they managed to put out a couple of fine EPs as well. The first taster from 'Remember Terry' is the irresistible 'Take Me to the City'. Is it just me who thinks that the opening riff is a nod to Prince? (Check out more music on Terry's Bandcamp page).

Friday, 14 July 2017

Version City #64 - Michael Kiwanuka sings Led Zeppelin

I received a letter from the DVLA recently, informing me that my driving license was about to expire, so I diligently filled in the renewal form and got a new ID photo taken. The difference between what I saw in the new photo and the one on my ten year old license was even more striking than I was prepared for. The face in the recent photo looks a bit like my Mum, a bit like my Dad - hell, I even see a bit of my paternal Grandmother, a woman who died in 1966 and I barely remember. When comparing the two photos, I was confronted with the stark reality of how obviously I've aged. Ten years gone, in the blink of an eye. Next stop 2027.

Michael Kiwanuka's recording career began in 2011, though I really got to grips with his music in 2016 with the release of his second LP 'Love & Hate'. This is Kiwanuka's contribution to Mojo magazine's 2015 various artist re-imagining of the 1975 Led Zeppelin LP, 'Physical Graffiti'.

Michael Kiwanuka - Ten Years Gone

Wednesday, 12 July 2017


In the middle of last week I had to walk into town to pick up my car from the garage. Along the way, I marvelled at the swallows swooping under the bridge and swifts screeching around the narrow streets at little more than head height. In amongst all this small bird action were the ever present gulls - looming from the rooftops, scavenging around waste bins and screaming from the skies. They are ridiculously fearless, intimidatingly huge, but largely harmless. In fact, until last week I would've said that they are totally harmless.

Heading down the narrow lane leading to the garage, I became aware of a large gull swooping back and forth a few feet above my head, all the while making that unsettling squealing noise. There were other gulls around and I assumed the noises were aimed at them. This one gull didn't seem to fly far from my vicinity though. Was I imagining that its angry screams were directed at me? I was pleased to arrive at the garage where I stepped inside and quickly forgot the whole brief episode.

After chatting for a while with the mechanics at the garage, they returned my key and told where they'd left my car. It's a small family run concern with very little space, so cars are routinely left in nearby streets and cul-de-sacs until collection. I'd been in the garage for around ten minutes and left distractedly fiddling with my key-ring. Instantly the gull swooped low over my head, screaming as it went. I was freaked out - it'd been waiting for me. I had a few hundred yards to cover before reaching my car and walked quickly, trying to stay close to an overhanging wall, but the screeching gull was never more than a few feet away from my head, ignoring all other pedestrians. I saw my car up ahead and broke into a slightly panicky jog to reach it, but the Hitchcockian swooping and screeching continued right up until the very moment I went to open the door, when the gull made its closest pass, directly over my right shoulder, unleashing a hefty dropping that missed me by about two inches, splatting down the side of the car and onto the pavement.

I was genuinely shaken up by the whole episode. Perhaps while walking down the lane, I'd unknowingly passed close to some fledglings and the gull was merely fulfilling its parental duties in protecting its offspring. I don't understand why it followed me for so long though - the car was a quarter of a mile from our first encounter. Plus it appeared to wait for me while I was in the garage - what's all that about? And then there was the parting gift that so narrowly missed me.

Unsurprisingly, Number One Cup's 'Divebomb' became an earworm for the next few days.

Number One Cup - Divebomb

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