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Wednesday what’s new – Grinderman

I love the concept behind Grinderman. Nick Cave feels the band allows him to showcase his more extreme side. Nick Cave. Just you think about that. Anyway, the new single is called, with suitable frightening overtones and crawly skin feelings, ‘Wormtamer’ and it’s ace.

The song remains the same – Paul Weller’s new album

Paul Weller returns this week with Wake Up the Nation, an album which, staggeringly, turns out only to be the tenth offering of his near-two decade solo career.

Weller has been in and out of favour with the cognoscenti for so long that it became impossible to determine accurately where he was positioned at any given time – erstwhile guru of elder statesman rock cool or orange-tanned dadrocker with a feathercut best suited to a post-menopausal fiftysomething woman. In the end, the British public decided following this was a bit too much hassle; they liked his music and liked him, so afforded him national treasure status (albeit a slightly narky national treasure.) Continue reading

Introducing…Lonely Joe Parker

Music is a fast-moving beast. Everything changes at a rapid old pace. This isn’t always bad – goodbye and good luck with your future endeavours to Acid Brass, Alan McGhee and the Bravery, amongst others – but inevitably the baby sometimes goes with the bathwater. Such is the case with the great rock’n’roll nickname. So kudos to Lonely Joe Parker for bringing it back. Unless his given name really is Lonely Joe. That would be cool.

His new single ‘Shanty’ is released next week and will find favour with those of you who’ve ever wondered what it would be like if Billy Bragg covered something from The Boatman Calls. He should get that haircut finished, mind.

‘Shanty is released 8th March on Sotones Records.

Happy Australia Day!

Australia. Title of a rubbish Manic Street Preachers song, birthplace of Kylie, supplier of bar staff. Today is the day that the Aussies celebrate being Australian or something, and needless to say drink a lot. Here you will find no criminal jokes, instead we wish to celebrate all that is good about Australia. So, Shane Warne and Nick Cave it is then. And as Warney doesn’t sing, here’s the suited man with ‘Get Ready For Love.’

Like a female Morrissey fronting the Bad Seeds – Phantom

We first caught up with Phantom about six months ago, when they were in town for the Hinterland Festival.  Today sees the release of their debut single ‘The Great Pretender.’ We caught up with the guys to to see what’s been happening in the corner marked ‘gorgeous pop-noir’;

Elsie Martins - Phantom
Elsie Martins

Continue reading

Tuesday, Tuesday. Can’t trust that day.

regular readers may have noticed a bit less wookie related activity round here recently. the details are unimportant, but not to put to fine a point on it, the misunderstandings were all cleared up and well……

So, thought you might like this to get you raring to go on a Tuesday morning.

Peace, love and biscuits!


Hydro Connect 2008 Review – Part 4

Saturday evening is kicked off with the sweet, narcotic drone of Spiritualized on the Main Stage. Jason Pierce only really has two songs, essentially – the slow one which uses women as a metaphor for drugs and the fast one which uses women as a metaphor for drugs. But still, they are both good tunes and the ten variations he plays here stand up well.

Spiritualized have always worked best when he’s allowed himself to submit to the grandiose vision of his music, and tonight he’s in full searching-for-redemption mode. With band and two gospel singers backing him, Pierce sticks mainly to recent album ‘Songs From A&E’. The extraordinarily brilliantly-titled ‘She Kissed Me and It Felt Like a Hit’ is the best tune he’s written in a decade, though ‘You Lie, You Cheat’ isn’t far behind it. A rollicking version of ‘Come Together’ spews out into the valley, all woozy power chords and fucked-up vocals. Spiritualized may well now have reached ‘National Treasure’ status, albeit a grimly fucked-up and strange one.

Speaking of fucked-up and strange, we now witness the sight of Nick Cave in his Grinderman guise. Which isn’t really a guise at all. It’s Nick Cave, calling everyone and everything a motherfucker and looking like one cool cat while he does so. Cave on stage is actually a bit scary. He looks like a suicidal dervish intent on causing as much damage in as short a space of time as possible.

A writer can spend hours looking for a clever turn of phrase, a hook that will perfectly describe what they have witnessed. I have here, but I simply can’t convey it in any other way than that he makes a huge fucking racket. And it is brilliant. He’s a captivating frontman, and returning to an ELM theme here, it’s due to belief. there is absolutely nothing studied or fake about him as he prowls the stage, maniacally belting out songs from Grinderman’s eponymous album. Blues and Goth and everything else you’d expect abound in a swirling brew of evil. Simply super.

He ends with ‘No Pussy Blues’. Diss that. you can’t. Respect to the Artist.

Well, the reason the phrase ‘from the sublime to the ridiculous’ is so prevalent is because it happens so often. And so, with a heavy heart, ELM realises that where stood Nick Cave not half an hour ago stands Paolo Nutini. I’ve been reprimanded for commenting on an act after only seeing a few songs, so I’ll be up front here; I only saw three of Paolo’s. And frankly, I thought it was a joke. Genuinely.

He sings like a drunk pensioner who is the enjoying the warm feeling of the whiskey in his throat and the urine in his pants. It’s like a Scottish Club Singer over a skiffle beat. If I had to describe Paolo, I’d suggest that if you got my Grandad to sing a Lonnie Donegan song, you’d be there. Paolo is very popular, of course, but so was the Hitler Youth for a while, and it was bad too.

Myself and a few comrades can brave it no more and walk away, giggling. There is bad and there is bad, but a 21 year old who sings like an octogenarian is simply comedy. It must be.

Over to the second stage and Gomez are playing their Mercury Music Prizewinning album in its entirety. From this distance, it’s nowhere near as revolutionary as people made out at the time, but there are still some fine moments here; ‘Get Myself Arrested’ and ‘Whippin’ Piccadilly’ remain classy tunes, and do perfectly suit the festival ambience. The smell of pungent, herbal smoke lingers heavy as they play, which is maybe why I’ve always remained slightly resistant to their charms (being a pharmaceutical and punk guy, back in the day) but they are undeniably professional after all these years. That said, it doesn’t look like they’ve been hit by their muse in a while.

Bloc Party end the night and do so by giving good Bloc Party. Kele appears on stage in a kilt, which I’m sure he thinks is a friendly gesture, but which is actually patronising. Would you wear Lederhosen in Germany? That gripe aside, it’s a strong set. The new, much-heralded dance direction is only really apparent in ‘Mercury’ and ‘Flux’, while the rest is drawn from the first two albums. They do have some crackers to go through, of course – ‘Banquet’, ‘Like Eating Glass’ and a tender version of ‘This Modern Love’ are accompanied by a standout ‘The Prayer’. they have a light-show too, which impresses us all more than it should because we are the generation who are impressed by things like that.

They finish with the inevitable ‘Helicopter’ and a jolly good finish it is too. ELM realises again that it has accidentally got hammered again and trudges off to bed.

Day 3, and the strongest line-up on paper, looms for all…..