In honour of St. Patrick’s Day…


Stiff Little Fingers -‘Suspect Device.’

U2 -‘With Or Without You.’

Thin Lizzy -‘Whisky In the Jar.’

Clannad -‘Theme From Harry’s Game.’ (Yes, I’m serious. grow up, fashion nazi)

Sultans of Ping FC -‘Where’s Me Jumper?’

Undertones -‘Jimmy Jimmy.’

It’s not just about Belfast or Dublin, y’know! Mind you, it was depressing how many pictures of leprechauns turned up when I googled St. Patrick’s Day…

Presenting Konono No.1


Thank God for The Wire magazine, which covers so much music that might otherwise fall under the radar. This latest edition’s cover star is Papa Mingiedi Mawangu from Konono No.1. The band hail from Kinshasa, the capital of the Congo, and the article in The Wire focuses on the band arnd their music, and how it is perceived in the Congo. Not always sympathetically, as it transpires: one artist who is interviewed in The Wire, Mi Amore, states that ‘The Church demonises our traditions as satanic. All those who would have played traditional music are now in the church writing hymns.’ The Congotronics music is traditional, but not necessarily being revered in its’ homeland.

The music is that of amplified thumb pianos, called likembe, and drums, as well as singing that is amongst the most frantic I have ever heard. The group have collaborated with the likes of Bjork, the Ex and and the Dead C. Their album Conogtronics 4 (AKA Assume Crash Position) will be released next month. Their appearances this year include All Tomorrow’s Parties.

Their song ‘Lufuala Ndonga’ is seen as their signature tune, and the ‘tough love lyrics’ (The Wire’s description) imparts wisdom to those who listen.

Check it out for yourself – and let me know what you think…


Konono No. 1 -‘Lufuala Ndonga.’ mp3

Konono No.1 website/Konono No.1 myspace

Konono No.1’s new album Assume Crash Position will be released in May

Presenting…The Boy Who Trapped The Sun


The Boy Who Trapped The Sun is one Colin Macleod, who hails from the Isle of Lewis, was discovered in Aberdeen bar playing Deep Purple covers. Normally this would be enough for many people to face a death sentence in the name of aesthetics, but the boy escaped to London where he set about becoming a solo artist.

He has just released an awesome five track EP, entitled Home. Five excellent, gentle tracks all written and performed by our young hero, except for ‘Lying To Get On Your Good Side’ which was written with and features Ed Harcourt. Released on Chess Club, this EP suggests the rise of an essential new talent. It’s available on 10″ and CD, as well as download, and he also suggests that you support your local record shop. If you’re Edinburgh based, may I suggest you go to Avalanche?

Here’s the video for the title track, if you like this, please go and buy it! This is the sound of the spring coming through…

Pop along and make friends at his myspace

Moving up on second base, behind Nicholas van Whastisface


Have caught up with a couple of friends from school days this evening, and yet again the subject of Carter USM came up.

Only saw them once -at the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party in 1991 when they decked Philip Schofield, and was proud to say I was there (seeing them do it, as opposed to being at the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party).

Is this nostalgia?

Yeah, probably, but this is still a fantastic tune, no matter how you look at it…and I still love tunes by the likes of Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, the Wonderstuff and Pop Will Eat Itself. In fact, when it comes to nineties revivalism, give me these guys over Reef or Ocean Colour Scene any day! And Carter did actually get a fair bit of mainstream coverage for a time, what with appearances in Smash Hits and on Top Of the Pops.

Carter USM -‘Sheriff Fatman.’ mp3

See the video here

…and for those who would like to see Philip Schofield getting lamped:

Some unusual covers for Wednesday…


Six By Seven were frequently on or near my stereo when I was at university and I bought many of their releases, singles and albums, around the turn of the last decade. I even saw them play on a bill with The Delgados at the Union Chapel in London, a few years before I moved to Scotland.

Anyway…here are three covers that they did:

First up, David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ which Bowie also sang in German, covered in German. Bowi’e German version is heard in both Christiane F and Radio On, if you enjoy cult arthouse films…Six By Seven recorded this for a Peel session.

Six By Seven -‘Helden (David Bowie cover).’ mp3

This cover of the Delgados ‘Pull the Wires From the Wall’ was only ever available (as far as I know) on a Fierce Panda 7″ single, which featured a picture of Jamie Oliver (yes, the chef) which Peel played round about March or April 2001.

Six By Seven -‘Pull the Wires From The Wall (Delgados cover).’ mp3

Finally, the Soft boys’ awesome ‘I Wanna Destroy You’ gets the Six By Seven treatment. This was a b-side (‘I.O.U. Love’ I think).

Six By Seven -‘I Wanna Destroy You (Soft Boys cover).’ mp3

If this has whetted your appetite, start with Six By Seven’s debut The Things We Make.

The return of… MGMT


MGMT will release their second album, Congratulations on April 12. It’s the follow-up to their 2008 album Oracular Spectacular and features them collaborating with both Sonic Boom and Jennifer Herrema. Sonic Boom produced the album and Dave Fridmann mixed it. This bodes extremely well.

The album’s nine tracks are: “It’s Working,” “Song for Dan Treacy,” “Someone’s Missing,” “Flash Delirium,” “I Found a Whistle,” “Siberian Breaks,” “Brian Eno,” “Lady Dada’s Nightmare,” and “Congratulations.”

The band have made this track ‘Flash Delirium’ available as a free download. See what you think…The title track has already been leaked -and already been asked to be taken down…

MGMT -‘Flash Delirium.’ mp3

MGMT website/MGMT myspace

I’m so tired, all I wanna do is…



Back working after ten months off, and I’m feeling shattered, if upbeat.

Right now, this hits the spot more than anything. Whitacre’s music is awesome, to the point of there being a facebook group called ‘Whitacre gives me chordgasms.’ Or so I’m told.

I should post more classical music here. Let me know what you think…

University of Miami Chorale -‘Sleep (Stephen Whitacre).’ mp3

Meanwhile…if you need more popular stuff, check down below for mp3s from Punch and the Apostles and the Last Battle.

* This is not the new 17 Seconds Cat, he’s still too shy to have his photo taken.

Rest in peace, Mark Linkous


Gutted to hear about Mark Linkous’ death from suicide.

I’m not an authority on his music, but it touched me, and it’s clear that a lot of people will be coming to terms with the loss of a hugely talented singer-songwriter for a long time to come.

I played this song on repeat last night…until the poignancy became almost too much to bear. The comment from his family on the website “It is with great sadness that we share the news that our dear friend and family member, Mark Linkous, took his own life today. We are thankful for his time with us and will hold him forever in our hearts. May his journey be peaceful, happy and free. There’s a heaven and there’s a star for you” is almost too much to read.

So, for what it’s worth…

Sparklehorse -‘Sick Of Goodbyes.’ mp3

Rest in peace.

Album Review – Punch and the Apostles


Punch and the Apostles -‘Punch and the Apostles’ (Repellent)

This album appears to have just snuck out, quietly, under the radar and even many blogs that seem to be well and truly on the money don’t appear to have reviewed it yet (though bluesbunny
), Kowalskiy and Is This Music? have done).

This album is released as a limited edition of 1,000 and on download, but don’t let it slip out of your grasp. Having released a handful of singles (including the rather excellent ‘I’m A Hobo’) their debut album is a very serious contender for one of the albums of the year. Not just in Scotland – but anywhere.

To listen to this album is to be assorted by a variety of influences – I might jot down burlesque cabaret, free jazz and Tom Waits, but then I’d probably need to add about another 100 to the list. It’s an album that grabs you from the off – but each listen reveals something else. Paul Napier sounds like a man on the edge of a peer in the most bizarre freakshow -and I mean that as a compliment. This could be the last souundtrack you would ever hear -and it would be a fantastic way to go.

This album is full of spirit and passion. Whilst many bands might make the comment ‘that we do what we do and if anyone likes it, that’s a bonus’ you know they’re producing rubbish. Yet Mr. Napier and chums make this all sound so natural, and do n’t care what anyone else says or thinks, as they suck you into a colourful, if excitingly dark and dangerous world.

From start to finish, this album is a real treat. Don’t let it be a well-kept secret, spill the beans and tell everyone you know who actually cares about decent music.


Punch and the Apostles is out now.

Pop along to their myspace to hear tracks.

UPDATE: I emailed the band who very graciously said I could post one of their tracks, so for your listening pleasure:

Punch and the Apostles -‘I’m A Hobo.’ mp3