17 Seconds Festive 50 2019

Well, this has been a task and a half, so this year, there are fifty tracks, forty seven done in an alphabetical list by artist, and finally three tracks given gold, silver and bronze ranking.

Attic Choir ‘Bleeding Grounds.’

Ardentjohn ‘Malin Head.’ ‘I Wasn’t There.’ ‘Magic Everywhere.’

Chvrches ‘Death Stranding.’

Cigarettes After Sex ‘Heavenly.’

Leonard Cohen ‘Happens To the Heart.’ ‘It’s Torn.’

Cranberries ‘Wake Me When It’s over.’

Divine Comedy ‘Norman and Norma.’

Katie Doherty and the Navigatots ‘Heartbeat Ballroom.’

Billie Eilish ‘Bad Guy.’ ‘Everything I Wanted.’ ‘Wish You Were Gay.’

Craig Finn ‘Blankets.’ ‘Something To Hope For.’

Fontaines DC ‘Boys In The Better Band.’

Ezra Furman ‘Calm Down AKA I Should Not Be Alone.’

Georgia ‘About Work the Dancefloor.’

Haim ‘Hallelujah.’

Hackney Colliery Band ‘Netsanet.’

Heartland Roots Band ‘Breaking Away.’ ‘Gasoline.’

JARV IS ‘Must I Evolve.’

Kano ‘Trouble.’

Chaka Khan ‘Like Sugar.’ ‘Hello Happiness.’

Lizzo ‘Cuz I Love You.’ ‘Good As Hell.’

George Michael ‘This Is How We Want You To Get High.’

Mura Masa featuring Slowthai ‘Deal With It.’

National ‘Light Years.’

Oceans Over Alderan ‘Sevenfour.’ ‘Falters.’

Pixies ‘On Graveyard Hill.’

Playing House ‘Not Good.’

Karine Polwart ‘Chance.’

Rev Magnetic ‘Gloaming.’

Sam Lee featuring Liz Fraser ‘The Moon Shines Bright.’

Sigrid ‘Sucker Punch.’

Specials ‘Black Skinned Blue Eyed Boys.’

Spearmint ’24 Hours in A&E.’ ‘Senseless.’

Stormzy ‘Vossi Bop.’

Taylor Swift ‘You Need To Calm Down.’

Twilight Sad ‘Rats.’

Waterboys ‘Piper At The Gates Of Dawn.’

Finally the top three…

Bronze: Lewis ‘LPS.’

Silver: Metronomy ‘Salted Caramel Ice Cream.’

Jenna Reid ‘Hallgrimskirkja.’

And, here are the majority of the tracks in a convenient Spotify playlist!

Christmas Posts 2019 part 9

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, of all the Christmas albums released since Low (now 20 years old!) my favourite is Tracey Thorn’s Tinsel and Lights. There’s a mixture of covers and new songs, from one of the greatest women to come out of the post-punk era.

This is the album’s opening track, one of the new songs, the video for which was filmed in Lille, France.

Even better is the album’s title track which tells the story of a New York Christmas:

This year I finally got a vinyl copy, you should, too!

Christmas Posts 2019 part 8

There’s no shortage of musical things I would have loved to have done, and seeing Siouxsie and the Banshees live would have been great.

Today’s track ‘Ill Est Ne the Divin Enfant’ (translated into English from the French, literally ‘He Is Born, the Divine Child’) was covered by the band on the b-side of their 1982 single ‘Melt!’ This is a performance on a French TV show with 17 Seconds’ all-time hero Robert Smith of the Cure as part of the group:

In 2011, Tom Tom Club covered the song, too. This is a different reading but just as lovely…

Annie Lennox also covered the song on her Christmas album, A Christmas Cornucopia:

Back in 1991, the Chieftains covered it with vocals from Kate and Anna McGarrigle on the album The Bells Of Dublin:

If you’re interested in reading more about the carol go here to a page on Wiki

Christmas Posts 2019 part 7

Belle and Sebastian first recorded ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel’ for the 2000 XFM (now Radio X) compilation It’s A Cool, Cool Christmas. They later recorded it for a Christmas session for John Peel in 2002.

And a few other B&S Christmas goodies, too…

I must admit that I had rather forgotten about this until I first put this post together last year, but it is rather sweet. Their 2007 single:

Finally another track from the Peel session:

The entire 16 (sic) Peel session can be found here

Christmas Posts 2019 part 6

As we draw to the end of this decade, it is clear that Kate Bush has been a bit more visible than in the previous two decades, with the release of the Director’s Cut album, the 50 Words For Snow winter album and the live performances that led to the Before The Dawn live album. Perhaps, like the Blue Nile, she is never going to be the most regular of releasers, but we should be grateful for what we have.

This was a 1980 single, first premiered on her 1979 Christmas Special:

In 1993, this was the b-side to her then current single ‘Moments Of Pleasure’:

and if you haven’t heard 50 Words For Snow, get on it!

Christmas Posts 2019 part 5

Yes, you may well hang your head in shame, sir!

OK, so we were supposed to get a new Cure album this year.

Unless they do a My Bloody Valentine in the next two weeks, I think we are going to have to assume that isn’t going to happen.

Back in 1987, on the Kissing tour, The Cure finished their gig with a take on Slade’s perennial Christmas fave ‘Merry Xmas Everybody.’ I don’t believe this was ever commercially released but for fun, here it is.

A few years later, The Mission recorded a version under the name the Metal Gurus, which was commercially released, so for more fun, here you go!

17 Seconds’ Albums Of the Year 2019

1. Leonard Cohen Thanks For The Dance

2. Karine Polwart Karine Polwart’s Scottish Songbook

3. Chaka Khan Hello Happiness

4. George McFall XIV: Surrounder

5. Meursault Crow Hill

6. Craig Finn I Need A New War

7. Jenna Reid Working Hands

8. Spearmint Are You From The Future?

9. Jaz Coleman and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra Magna Invocatio 

10. Mappe Of The Isle Of Ailynn

11. Michael Kiwanuka Kiwanuka

12. Ardentjohn Malin Head

13. Solange When I Get Home

14. Divine Comedy Office Politics

15. Bruce Springsteen Western Stars

16. Twilight Sad It Won/t Be Like This All The Time

17. Hackney Colliery Band Collaborations Volume One

18. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Ghosteen

19. Lana Del Rey Norman Fucking Rothwell

20. Cigarettes After Sex Cry

Lest we forget…previous 17 Seconds’ albums of the year

2018 Dead Can Dance Dionysus

2017 Deerhoof Mountain Moves

2016 David Bowie Blackstar

2015 Bjork Vulnicura

2014 Lisa Gerrard Twilight Kingdom

2013 Dead Flowers Midnight At The Wheel Club

2012 Grimes Visions

2011 PJ Harvey Let England Shake

2010 DeLorean Subiza

2009 Broken Records Until The Earth Begins To Part

2008 Cave Singers Invitation Songs

2007 Burial Untrue

2006 Camera Obscura Let’s Get Out Of This Country

Christmas Posts 2019 part 4

A rather difficult ten days. But having last posted about Elizabeth Fraser, I guess I have to continue with more of the Central Belt Nightingale.

The Cocteau Twins’ 1993 single ‘Snow’ contained these two tracks. Availability has been…varied over the years since its release. They can currently be found on Treasure Hding: The Fontana Years which you can even buy the tracks individually for, at 99p each on iTunes. If you haven’t snapped these up yet, get on and do so!

Shortly following will be my tracks and albums of the year, and maybe even the decade…

Presenting Sam Lee…and Elizabeth Fraser!

(l-r) Jo O’Keefe (violin), Josh Green (percussion), Bernard Butler (producer), Elizabeth Fraser (guest vocalist), Sam Lee, James Keay (keyboards), Misha Mullov-Abbado (double bass)

Yes! That Elizabeth Fraser, former lead singer of the Cocteau Twins and one of the most amazing voices to ever grace this earth and she’s on this new track from Sam Lee, which dropped into my inbox this morning.

Produced by Bernard Butler (another legend round 17 Seconds Towers), it is taken from his forthcoming album Old Wow which is due out on January 31, 2020 via Cooking Vinyl.

Fraser and Lee bonded over a shared love of traditional music, and she attended several of his gigs. Of the song he says ‘The song originated as an English Gypsy Christmas Carol taking root at least as far back as the 1700s, and was collected almost exclusively from the Gypsy community. It has all the hallmarks of an ancient proto-religious song that has more recently shed lots of the more Christian meanings to connect in with a more animistic relationship to the winter solstice time’.  Fraser’s contribution contains a traditional Scottish song ‘Wild Mountain Thyme.’

Sam Lee is on tour in the New Year:

29 January 2020     Glasgow Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (Strathclyde Suite)

31 January 2020     Newcastle Cluny

01 February 2020   Manchester Night and Day

03 February 2020   Nottingham Rescue Rooms

04 February 2020   Leeds City Varieties

05 February 2020   Birmingham Glee 

06 February 2020   Exeter Phoenix

07 February 2020   Bodmin St Petroc’s Church

08 February 2020   Lyme Regis Marine Theatre

10 February 2020   Cambridge Junction 2

13 February 2020   Brighton St George’s

15 February 2020   Canterbury Gulbenkian Theatre

16 February 2020   Norwich Open

17 February 2020   London EartH

19 February 2020   Bristol St George’s 

21 February 2020   Cardiff The Gate