Getting excited for 2008 Part 3

Alan McGee has called these guys the best band out of Liverpool since the Bunnymen/Wah! era, and he is absolutely right. These guys are, amazingly, unsigned (maybe it’s time the record companies were just pushed aside, as when you consider who is signed and who isn’t, it makes less sense than ever).

They have three tracks on their MySpace to downlaod, so here they are.

The Grants -‘I Am The One.’ mp3

The Grants -‘I don’t Care.’ mp3

The Grants -‘Nothing To Lose.’ mp3

Pop along to their MySpace, make friends with them and spread the word.

Getting excited for 2008 Part 2

Amongst new stuff due for 2008 are the new albums from Sons & Daughters and British Sea Power

Sons and Daughters have a new album on the way called This Gift, which is promising to be very good indeed, if these two tracks are anything to go by. I keep reading different dates for the release of This Gift, but no doubt will have a review of this on here as soon as we can…

Sons and Daughters -‘Gilt Complex.’ mp3

Sons and Daughters -‘Darling.’ mp3

Meanwhile, British Sea Power may have delivered one of the other first classics of the new year in THIS single, taken from their third album Do You Like Rock Music?. With the football World Cup on the way, expect to hear this a LOT. Just as long as BSP don’t end up going the way of the Lightning Seeds…

British Sea Power -‘Waving Flags.’ mp3

Hope you have a good New Year’s Eve, if that’s your thing…

Gig review: Aberfeldy/Donna Maciocia

Gig review: Aberfeldy/Donna Maciocia

Edinburgh Voodoo Rooms, December 21 2007

Support act tonight is Donna Maciocia from Amplifico, who plays a solo set on her own, with support from assorted members of the Feldy (the other Amplifico members are in Australia and Canada, apparently). I was wowed by Amplifico the last time I saw them (which was also supporting Aberfeldy) but tonight Donna leaves me delightfully stunned. Songs like ‘You Could Be My Muse’ ‘This stuff Cuts Like Thorns’ and ‘Baby Baby’ are just gorgeous. As is her cover of Bjork’s Who Is It? (from Medulla). For ‘The comedy stops Here’ she is joined by Chris and Vicky from Aberfeldy. Aberfedly’s Murray joins on sleigh bells for her cover of ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ which beats Mariah Carey’s version hands down. and I bet Mariah can’t play the ukelele either, nor loop her voice at the end for the coda. I can’t wait for Amplifico’s album, due out in March.

Aberfeldy are on fire tonight. It’s the ninth time I’ve seen them and they are amazing. Both tonight and the previous night are sell out gigs, and deservedly so. They are greeted warmly when they come on, and open with two new songs, ‘In Denial’ and ‘Malcolm,’ the latter which features a delightful array of fish puns (yes, you did read that right). These two songs have a country feel to them. As well as the fish puns, part of the fun lies in spotting the songs that are referenced (I count Crosby Stills Nash and Young’s ‘Our House’, the Velvet Underground’s ‘I’m Waiting For My Man,’ The Beatles’ ‘Nowhere Man’ and Dylan’s ‘Mr. Tambourine Man.’). Donna comes onstage to join them on xylophone for a countryish take on ‘A Friend Like You.’ We get ‘Uptight’ and ‘1970s’ from Do Whatever Turns You On, perhaps the most underrated album of the decade, and ‘Love Is An Arrow.’ We then get three new songs ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ ‘Talk Me Round’ and ‘Somewhere To Jump From.’ It’s testament to just how great Aberfeldy are now that they can play three new songs in a row and the crowd still love them, as playing new stuff – which by definition most people won’t have heard, and thus takes people outside their comfort zones – can be hugely risky. ‘Something I Must Tell You’ and ‘Do Whatever Turns You On’ remind us of just what pearls the back catalogue contains, as if we could be foolish enough to forget. Next single ‘Claire’ (Rough Trade mshould be kicking themselves for letting Aberfeldy go) is followed by gorgeous versions of ‘Hypnotised’ and debut single ‘Vegetarian Restaurant’ and the sixth new song ‘Wendys When I’m Wasted.’ They finish with a storming version of ‘Heliopolis By Night’ complete with the Radio GaGa-style handclaps.

I worked out that this is the 26th gig I’ve been to this year, including instores, and frankly, by far and away the best gig I’ve seen this year. There’s lots of new releases I’m looking forward to in 2008, including Foals, Sons & daughters and British Sea Power. But at the top of that list is the third album from Aberfeldy.


Aberfeldy’s MySpace is here

Amplifico’s MySpace is here

Seeing as it’s still (just about) the season of goodwill…

…and I was asked to re-post some of the last songs I’d done in my Christmas posts, here we go:

Stars -‘Fairytale Of New York.’ mp3
Pipettes -‘White Christmas.’ mp3
Teenage Fanclub -‘Christmas Eve.’ mp3
Dandy Warhols -‘Little Drummer Boy.’ mp3
Beck -‘The Little Drum Machine Boy.’ mp3
Liz Phair -‘Winter Wonderland.’ mp3
Holly Golightly -‘Christmas Tree On Fire.’ mp3
Wild Billy Childish and the Musicians of The British Empire -‘Christmas 1979.’ mp3
Ten Thousand Dollar Tattoo -‘My First Santa.’ mp3
Eels -‘Christmas Is going To The Dogs.’ mp3
Eels -‘Everything’s Gonna Be Cool this Christmas.’ mp3
Weezer -‘Christmas Celebration.’ mp3
Weezer -‘The Christmas Song.’ mp3

Getting excited for 2008

Christmas is over, and it’s time to look ahead to what’s going to be big. I can no more rub a crystal ball than anyone else can (well, except the people who have crystal balls, I suppose), but there’s things bubbling away that suggest 2008 could be just as good as 2007.

Bands like Foals. I’d heard bits and pieces over 2007, and they’d kinda joined the list of bands that I knew i ought to get round to writing about very soon, if only other things didn’t keep getting in th way. Anyway, these guys dropped out of university at Oxford after a year (no idea where in Oxford) and set about making some extremely exciting danceable stuff. And their forthcoming album Antidotes is getting people just as excited about what is getting left off as getting put on it.

Give these a listen and see what you think…

Foals -‘Brazil Is Here.’ mp3

Foals -‘Hummer.’ mp3

Foals -‘Mathletics.’ mp3

Foals -‘Balloons.’ mp3

Foals’ MySpace is here and their official website is here

Let me know what you think…

17 Seconds’ Top 75 Albums of the Year

Well, after humming and hawing about the order, what to include and not, and panicking about all the records on other people’s lists that I just hadn’t got round to hearing, to hell with it, here is the 17 Seconds’ Top 75 albums of the year 2007.

For what it’s worth, here goes:

1. Burial Untrue
2. Penny Century Between One Hundred Lies
3. Emma Pollock Watch The Fireworks
4. iLIKETRAINS Elegies To Lessons Learnt
5. Malcolm Middleton A Brighter Beat
6. Wiley Playtime Is Over
7. Arcade Fire Neon Bible
8. Dizzee Rascal Maths + English
9. Commander Keen My Tascam Dreams
10.Radiohead In Rainbows
11.Ringo Death Starr Ringo Death Starr
12.M.I.A. Kala
13.!!! Myth Takes
14.Shins Wincing The Night Away
15.The Good, The Bad And The Queen The Good, The Bad And The Queen
16.Wilco Sky Blue Sky
17.Morning Bride Lea Valley Delta Blues
18.Timbaland Timbaland Presents: Shock Value
19.Battles Mirrors
20.Von Sudenfed Tromatic Reflexxions
22.PJ Harvey White Chalk
23.Arctic Monkeys Favourite Worst Nightmare
24.Wounded Knee Wounded Knee
25.The National Boxer
26.LCD Soundsystem Sound Of Silver
27.Super Furry Animals Hey Venus!
28.New Pornographers Challengers
29.King Creosote Bombshell
30.Electrelane No Shouts, No Calls
31.Kaiser Chiefs Yours Truly, Angry Mob
32.BMX Bandits Bee Stings
33.Bloc Party A Weekend In The City
34.Babyshambles Shotter’s Nation
35.Bat For Lashes Fur And Gold
36.The Coral Roots And Echoes
37.New Young Pony Club Fantastic Playground
38.Twilight Sad Fourteen Summers And Fifteen Winters
39.Amateurs Hongu Kongu
40.Biffy Clyro Puzzle
41.Feist The Reminder
42.Kate Nash Made Of Bricks
43.Klaxons Myths Of the Near Future
44.Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Baby 81
45.Fall Out Boy Infinity On High
46.Idlewild Make Another World
47.Bjork Volta
48.Manic Street Preachers Send Away The Tigers
49.Air Pocket Symphony
50.Angels Of Light We Are Him
51.My Teenage Stride Ears Like Golden Bats
52.Port-Royal Afraid To Dance
53.1990s Cookies
54.Boy Omega Hope On The Horizon
55.Robert Wyatt Comicopera
56.Ash Twilight Of The Innocents
57.Dinosaur Jr. Beyond
58.Shitdisco Kingdom Of Fear
59.Swimmer One The Regional Variations
60.Brett Anderson Brett Anderson
61.Maximo Park Our Earthly Pleasures
62.Descent This Violent Reality
63.The Fall Reformation Post-TLC
64.Editors An End Has A Start
65.The View Hats Off To The Buskers
66.Rufus Wainwright Release The Stars
67.Tracey Thorn Out Of The Woods
68.Thurston Moore Trees Outside The Academy
69.Thrushes Sun Come Undone
70.Siouxsie Mantaray
71.Go! Team Proof Of Youth
72.Simian Mobile Disco Attack Decay Sustain Release
73.The Royal We The Royal We
74.Mark Ronson Version
75.To Rococo Rot ABC123

A late Christmas Present

Hope everyone had a good Christmas. Mrs. 17 Seconds and I did, and we received some great presents, as well as giving them, and they weren’t all music either!

However, did receive a new mp3 from the Futureheads on Christmas Day, called ‘Crash’, (no, not The Primitives song!) so thought I would share this with you all:

The Futureheads -‘Crash.’ mp3

I posted this a few months ago, this was the free mp3 they gave away a few months ago:

Futureheads -‘Broke Up The Time.’ mp3

Really looking forward to the new album when it comes out.

Also, although I have removed the links to the Christmas stuff I posted, I did receive one request to re-post the Wedding Present tracks, so here you go:

Wedding Present – ‘No Christmas.’ mp3

Wedding Present -‘Step Into Christmas.’ mp3

Hope you’re all well, wherever you may be…

Songs For Christmas XXII

This is the final Christmas songs post for this year, I don’t know how many people are going to drop by here still looking for Christmas numbers, but anyway.

I would have done a couple of other posts but I have spent the last two days camped outside the post office to pick up parcels that the Postie couldn’t deliver, only to get home and discover that in the meantime, the postie has put more red notes through the door to say that he/she (though 99% of posties I have ever come across are male) couldn’t deliver parcels because no-one was in. This is not much of an exaggeration…

Anyway, here are the three final songs for Christmas. Glad so many of you have enjoyed these, this is all over for the next twelve months.

Stars -‘Fairytale Of New York.’ mp3

[Pogues cover. Yes, the Pogues’ original is the best Christmas tune ever, and in the UK charts for the thousandth time, but posting it is just too obvious)

Pipettes -‘White Christmas.’ mp3

Teenage Fanclub -‘Christmas Eve.’ mp3

Merry Christmas to you all. The long-intended Aberfeldy review (the best gig of the year BTW) and my Top 75 albums will follow soon…


Gig review: Emma Pollock/Wake The President

Gig review: Emma Pollock/Wake The President

Edinburgh Cabaret Voltaire, December 18, 2007

I have mentioned many times just how much I love Emma Pollock’s work. Having topped the second ever 17 Seconds’ Festive Fifty with ‘Adrenaline’, I went with Mrs. 17 Seconds and sister-in-law to see her for my fourth time this year, and the third time in this very venue.

Previous support acts to Emma Pollock this year have included Broken Records and Katie Sutherland. I don’t know whether she personally picks them or not, but Wake The President are winners too, who like the two afore-mentioned acts I intend to feature again here at 17 Seconds. From their opener ‘I Should Be So Happy’ it is clear that here are a band who channel the spirit of the Fire Engines, early Orange Juice and most strongly of all, Josef K. Acknowledging this, their penultimate song tonight is a faithful and affectionate cover of Josef K’s ‘It’s Kinda Funny.’ They have released two 7″ singles on Electric Honey (the record label in Glasgow run by Stow College that most famously put out Belle & Sebastian’s debut, Tigermilk, back in 1996) – ‘Sorrows For Clothes/Mail Alice’ and ‘Remember Fun?’ all of which get an airing tonight -and which they have said they are happy for me to post here. Other songs played include ‘Professor’ ‘You Can’t Change This Boy’ and ‘Security Place’ the latter which is dedicated to Malcolm Middleton. By the end of their short set, it’s clear that this is a band we will be hearing more from in 2008.

One of Emma Pollock’s many endearing features is that she doesn’t take herself seriously, and instead of throwing a rock star strop when there is an immediate technical hitch, laughs and tells to do what we were doing a moment before. The show starts properly with ‘If Silence Means That Much To You.’ She thanks us for coming out and confesses that she hates shopping, especially when that place is Braehead [a very soulless shopping mall on the west side of Glasgow]. We get ‘Acid Test’ and ‘New land’ which has taken on a delicious country twang live. This is the third time she has played Cabaret Voltaire this year, but actually the first since Watch the Fireworks was released, so now the songs are better known, and played by her fans. Many of those her tonight were Delgados fans, but the only reference she makes to her time in Scotland’s greatest ever band is saying that it’s been much easier touring with this band than ‘that other lot!’

Having played the album repeatedly, these songs are now firmly lodged in my brain, and over the course of the evening we get all eleven songs, plus ‘Jesus On The Cross’ the track she collaborated with Louise Welsh for the Roddy Woomble-assembled Ballads Of The Book. ‘Adrenaline’ still literally gets the, um, adrenaline, running, from the moment that keyboard riff kicks in and ‘Limbs’ still melts this old heart no matter how many times I’ve heard it played live this year. The e-bowed guitaron album closer ‘The Optimist’ is one of the finest, most atmospheric moments I have experiences this year. After an encore of ‘You’ll Come Around’ it’s out into the night. Thanks for soundtracking my year, Ms. Pollock, and another fantastic gig.

Emma Pollock -‘Adrenaline.’ mp3

Songs For Christmas XXI

It is mental out there, way too many people, still too much to do, and I haven’t even written a single Christmas card. Here are five more in the ongoing series…

First up, the Dandy Warhols’ cover of ‘Little Drummer Boy.’ I heard this on Peel in Christmas 1994, and it was actually the first time I had ever heard (of) them.

Dandy Warhols -‘Little Drummer Boy.’ mp3

…So what else could possibly follow it but…this?

Beck -‘The Little Drum Machine Boy.’ mp3

I came across this Liz Phair track across the ‘net, though I don’t know much about it:

Liz Phair -‘Winter Wonderland.’ mp3

This track came out last year:

Holly Golightly -‘Christmas Tree On Fire.’ mp3

…and finally, this track is from this year’s album of the same name (also released as a 7″ if you act quickly) (NB: this track does feature swear words, just in case you are in the presence of those unable to ‘cope’ with that sort of thing).

Wild Billy Childish and the Musicians Of The British Empire -‘Christmas 1979.’ mp3

Three more Christmas posts to come…XX

Oh, and if you live in the UK, and haven’t yet bought a copy of the Malcolm Middleton single, please DO so!