Andy Anderson remembered

Andy Anderson

Andy Anderson, with his father Cliff Anderson, a well-known boxer in the East End of London.

Jeez, not a good week, is it?

Andy Anderson drummer for The Cure between 1983-84 and frequent collaborator with other acts, including Iggy Pop, Isaac Hayes and Peter Gabriel,  died on Tuesday aged 68. He had been battling cancer.

His death was announced by former Cure member Lol Tolhurst. Tolhurst wrote:

‘It’s with a heavy heart, I have to report the passing of a Cure brother.

Andy Anderson was A (sic) true gentleman and a great musician with a wicked sense of humor which he kept until the end, a testament to his beautiful spirit on the last journey. We are blessed to have known him.’

The Cure in 1984

The Cure in 1984: (l-r) Phil Thornally, Porl Thompson, Robert Smith, Andy Anderson and Lol Tolhurst.

So as a tribute, some of the tracks Anderson played on.

He first played with Robert Smith, in the side project The Glove, who released one album, Blue Sunshine, in 1983:

He first played on The Cure’s top ten hit ‘The Love Cats’ seen here on Top of the Pops in late 1983. The track was first compiled on the Japanese Whispers album later that year.

Andy also played on The Top studio album and the live Concert, bothreleased in 1984. ‘The Caterpillar’ was another top twenty hit.

Mark Hollis remembered

Mark Hollis

Of all the band’s whose evolution over their lifespan might not have been expected, Talk Talk might well top the list. Lead by Mark Hollis, who died today aged 64, they went from being seen as possible new romantic rivals to Duran Duran around the time of their 1982 debut, The Party’s Over and its accomplished follow-up It’s My Life (1984) to laying the groundwork for Radiohead and post-rock over the trio of records that is The Colour Of Spring (1986), Spirit Of Eden (1988) and Laughing Stock (1991).

So here, in tribute, a track from each of those five albums, and one from his only solo album.

From 1982’s The Party’s Over, the eponymous single ‘Talk Talk.’ Sure you can hear the similarity to acts like Duran, Visage and A Flock Of Seagulls, but there’s a scope here that suggests they are thinking beyond the nightclubs of London town.

 

From 1984’s It’s My Life, the title track (later covered by No Doubt). This wouldn’t be the last time there would be an animal flavoured video.

From 1986’s The Colour Of Spring ‘Life’s What You Make It.’ Another animal-featuring video…one of their best known songs.

 

Whilst 1988’s Spirit Of Eden didn’t produce any big hit singles, it showed that the band had moved on leaps and bounds even from the changes that had come about on their previous album. It shows a link with pastoral records like Virginia Astley’s From Gardens Where We Feel Secure (1983) and points to post-rock, particularly bands like Sigur Ros.

The band’s final album would become even more minimalist – and links to bands like Godspeed You Black Emperor!, and possibly full circle to early 80’s contemporaries like David Sylvian. This opening track is seemingly about suicide but utterly beautiful.

Mark’s sole release under his own name was his 1998 eponymous album from which this is taken. Just brilliant.

He retired from the music business to focus on bringing up his two sons. 17 Seconds sends best wishes to his family and friends.

Presenting…Rev Magnetic

Rev Magnetic

Rev Magnetic are based around the core of legendary Scottish musician and writer (Sweetmeat, Jelly Roll, Venus As A Boy – all worth reading) Luke Sutherland.

An occasional member of Mogwai, his musical project Rev Magnetic are now signed to Mogwai’s Rock Action label, and ‘Gloaming’ is the first fruits of the partnership. The single is released on 7″ at the end of this week, out now on digital, and an album is to follow.

This is glorious – and the video is fantastic, too.

 

New from Chaka Khan

chaka-khan-hello-happiness

I’ve been a bit quiet round the blog lately, but it doesn’t mean that I’ve given up.

Rather that life is keeping me busy. But I’m still listening, reading and writing.

At the moment, I’m enjoying the final part of Stuart Cosgrove’s epic soul trilogy, Harlem 69: The Future Of Soul. It follows on from Detroit 67: The Year That Changed Soul¬†and Memphis 68: The Tragedy Of Southern Soul. The fast-moving tale of soul is intertwined with the politics of the period, and it’s educational not just about music but also about history, politics and sociology. The advantage of the modern age is that you can make a list of the music you are reading about and go and investigate it at the touch of the button…though this probably works more to the benefit of the consumer rather than the artist.

One of the people who appears in the pages of Harlem 69 is a young Chaka Khan. She’s just released her first album in twelve years, Hello Happiness. Somehow I missed last year’s first track from the album ‘Like Sugar’ which is just awesome. Fortunately, when it comes to doing my end of year Festive Fifty lists, one of my rules is that a track can qualify even if it was released as single the previous year…if it is released on the parent album that year. Seriously, check this out…

 

 

This is the title track, which is also rather fine.

 

 

Hello Happiness is only seven songs long, but it’s a joy to hear. Take the time to do so!

 

Gig review – Craig Finn

Craig Finn

Craig Finn – Edinburgh Usher Hall, February 6, 2019

The last time I saw Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn it was close enough to see the whites of his eyes. Hardly surprising, it was a living room gig in an Edinburgh tenement. At the time he was promoting his latest (third) solo album, We All Want The Same Things. Now two years later, he’s supporting Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon on solo dates, and has a new solo album, I Need A New War, out in April.

There’s no doubt that Craig Finn is a talented songwriter – but watching and listening to him armed with just an acoustic guitar (no mean feat in a venue the size of the Usher Hall, upgraded from the comparatively smaller Queen’s Hall), his skill as a raconteur cannot be underestimated. Sure, it’s irritating when people won’t shut up over the support act, but even more so when it’s someone this witty.

Introducing the Hold Steady’s song ‘Magazines’, he talks about how it was written after a girl dumped him on a date. Then twenty-four hours later – during which time he’d written the song – she realised she’d made a mistake and they’ve been together ever since, even though he wrote the song. There’s a preview of the new record’s ‘Magic Marker’ and more reflections about growing up and missing out on being a proper punk because he didn’t get to see Black Flag on ‘Punk Is Not A Fair Fight.’ There’s the melancholy of 9/11 revisited on ‘Newmyer’s Roof’ and a touching tribute to the late Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit with a cover of Frabbits’ ‘Heads Roll Off.’

As a reviewer, I was privileged to see this, but if I’d been a punter I would have been amply rewarded, too.