The Series with No Theme – Part 5

no-theme

It has taken me a day to ‘level a piece of ground measuring twelve foot by ten’. By levelling I mean I have needed to clear all the rubbish, the stinging nettles, the brambles, the weeds, the annoying sticky plant stuff that no matter how much you shake your hand it doesn’t ever fucking shift. The people who owned my house before me were bastards I have decided. Not only did they just leave this part of the garden to rack and ruin, they also dumped all their shite there as well. In the last two hours I have dug up, in order, a paint spray gun, three complete kitchen floor tiles, a BBQ fork, a whole fucking carpet, and the party piece, an ice cream machine. Yep you read that right. An ice cream machine. I have put all this stuff to one side and the garden waste to the other side. I have then crawled around in the mud with a spirit level trying to convince myself that the ground is level. It is nowhere near level its worse than it was before. I place a load of breeze blocks around the side and check those. They are not level either. I give up. I phone Bill. Bill is my brother in law. When it comes to things like sheds, cars, fixing stuff, man things, Bill is a genius. I am the complete opposite.

I hold the phone away from my ear as he laughs down it. He tells me he will be there first on Friday morning to sort it out. He then tells me to get five bags of ‘sharp sand’ (there are different types of sand…Who knew?), a couple of hundred ‘five inch posi drive screws’, some straight ‘4b2 wood’ and some cake. Ok I say. I guarantee I will buy the wrong thing. The signs in B&Q may as well be written in Hebrew as far as I am concerned.

Friday and Bill arrives, he is soon joined by my friend Nick the Chef who is here to help with the heavy lifting, because it turns out the sides, roof and fronts of sheds are actually rather heavy. I found this out on Thursday night, when I thought, I’d try to be helpful and start taking the shed up the back. I got precisely four foot before giving up.

Bill immediately takes charge and tips out all the sand over my lovely clean smooth section of mud. He pushes the sand around with skill of a master craftsperson, he grabs the spirit level and this I’m told is crucial, turns it the right way up and taps it twice.   He then grabs one the old dug up floor tiles, smashes it on the floor and liberally sprinkles the pieces around.   He then stands back blows his nose, and then says, “Right that’s ready”.

What!!!

He has been here 12 minutes, I’ve not even opened the cake yet. Like I said, Genius. I ask him – why wasn’t it ready the way I did it. He looks at me like I am simple. “It wasn’t level” he said. “It was five millimetres out on the offside”. Of course it was, damn those 5 millimetres, story of my life. .

We put some breeze blocks down, Bill checks it is still level. It’s still level, then I accidentally move one of the blocks, as I reach for a bit of wood. Bill tuts loudly and moves it back again and rechecks it. We then get the base – one half of it and we lay that down on top of it. Then we put the other half down and Bill produces a drill and fixes the two sides together and then the floorboards. I am absolutely spellbound at the speed of how he does it. Then from nowhere I hear my own voice say “Can I do the next one?” Bill looks at me and says this “Drilling is Lesson Two, Let’s do hammers first”. This makes Nick the Chef spill his coffee whilst laughing.

I am told to use the big rubber mallet to bash the side of the floor until it is ‘flush’. This apparently mean straight. I bash it and the base moves, Bill stops what he is doing and says “The other side”.   I go around the other side and bash that. Bill suddenly shouts “Woah!” and its flush. I feel proud of myself.

Then we put the sides on. This takes roughly an hour. My job is ‘holding’ the sides straight. Something I apparently excelled in. Because when the sides are all joined together – its straight – and according to Bill “That’s solid, he ain’t going anywhere”. For FIVE minutes I think Bill is talking about me. As he and Nick tuck into the cake – I am stood there holding the ‘offside’ bit thinking I am doing great helpful things. Nick ruins it by saying “You can let go now, well you could have let go roughly three slices of cake ago.” I hold for a bit longer and get this, I tap the side, place a pencil behind my ear and say “Yup, that’s looks about right” before slowly letting go one hand at a time.

Then we put the roof on. The roof is seriously heavy. It’s like lifting a buffalo above your head. A pregnant buffalo who has eaten nothing but cake for six months. It takes three hours to get the roof on, straight and bolted together. This is according to Bill because the wood has slightly bowed. It definitely isn’t because he put it on the wrong way round.

It’s five pm. We stand back eating cheese on toast, and drinking cloudy builder’s tea and admire our work. Here it is. That is my shed. See that wood underneath the shed. I did that. Just.

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Sorry for a moment I forgot this was a music blog – here are three more of the tracks chosen by the wife as part of The Series with No Theme.

Best Friend – Smith Westerns – The last Smith Westerns last album was a triumph and then they split and they have (some of them) since re-emerged as Whitney

The Music Was to Blame – Peace – Peace were for a while the favourite band of Mr T Badger – their debut album was a bit lovely. The second was not quite so great, although if Badger was writing this – he would strongly disagree with me

Change – Zen Mantra – and I have no idea who Zen Mantra are or indeed where I got this track from.   Google tells me that they are from New Zealand. And this song is now immediately disqualified from the Three Song Challenge – unless you had already mentioned it.

(Relatively) New Band of the Week – 3

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Madonna – Black Honey

I’m really busy this week so I’m going to keep this really short, sorry, normal service should be resumed tomorrow. Anyway, guys welcome to the sound of Black Honey, who might just change your lives.

Who: Black Honey

Hometown: Brighton

The Background: This band have been bubbling under the radar for around eighteen months.  Then they were played on Annie Macs radio show and the bubble has risen somewhat.  Spotify tells me that they have nearly one million plays on there.  They released their debut single ‘Madonna’ at the end of 2014, which again shows that the ‘New’ bit of this nonsense can be stretched slightly.  What do they sound like?  Well think Lana Del Rey fronting a rock band,  or more specifically, they sound like Lush, only better.

The Hype: Black Honey are spectacular according to hipster style magazine Vice.

For Fans Of: Well Lush obviously, Mazzy Star, The Chromatics perhaps

Check Out: Recent single Corrine and the track Madonna which is posted up there.

 

 

The WYCRA Guide to Festivals Past

reading 1994

Saturday – Reading 1994

I’ve written about this festival night before.  The performance of Primal Scream on Saturday night was one of the  greatest ninety minutes of my life.  A stunning show – from beginning to end.  It was everything that headline shows should be.  It was so good that the following morning as Chris and I rubbed our eyes and emerged from the tent of Karen and Fiona we heard two people in the tent across the way having sex (It was obvious we were sitting there with our ears against the erm, flap).  As we smoked a cigarette in a strange sort of solidarity outside kind of listening, kind of not, I mean it was loud and fairly obvious what was going on – the sex finished and the girl said and I quote “that was nearly as good as Primal Scream last night”.  So it was official – Primal Scream, better than sex.

Jailbird  – Primal Scream

On the Saturday we see I think saw eleven bands in the space of eight hours.  This is a person record for me at a festival, and not one I have ever bettered and am now unlikely to ever do so.   The day started in the rain, with The Senseless Things, I mean its Reading – why wouldn’t it start with The Senseless Things

Hold It Down

They were alright.  Again.  I mean, it was the third Reading in a row that I had seen them at and it was the third Reading in a row when they’d been third or fourth act on, to be honest I think they played exactly the same set as two years ago, but I might be wrong.

Next up over in the tent and some Salad.   Who were kind of brilliant in a forgotten about in three hours kind of a way.  I mean I danced away to songs like Kent and

Your Ma – which remains to this day great little single but at the end of the day Salad were pretty middle of the road to be honest.

I spoke to Chris last night on the phone as he is coming to visit me in Devon in a few months time and I mentioned this  day to him and he said “Don’t forget to mention the bloke who lost his trousers during Gene”.  Well I’d forgotten about that as well.  So here’s Chris

“About halfway through the Gene gig, a chap down the front decided to crowd surf during ‘Fighting Fit’ (although I may have the song wrong) sadly for him, his trousers which were a bit baggy and they got taken off him and thrown around the tent for about half an hour, with no disrespect to Gene it was the most exciting thing about that gig”.

Fighting Fit – Gene

We then saw precisely seven minutes of Superchunk

Hyper Enough – Superchunk

Because we decided that watching Pulp followed by Radiohead was a better idea.  We’d hooked up with Karen and Fiona as well at this stage and frankly we went where they went because a) they were pretty and b) they seem to have an almost endless supply of Smirnoff.  Its funny now thinking that it just over twelve months both Pulp and Radiohead would be megastars and here they both were on stage before the likes of Ice Cube.

Babies

My Iron Lung

Then we hot footed it back to the tent to see Compulsion and we had intended to stay there to watch Elastica as well – but things didn’t turn out that way.  Compulsion were the greatest band of the day so far and that gives me yet another reason to post this

Mall Monarchy – which is still outstanding even if I must have shared this track about ninety times

So we head back over to the main stage to catch the end of the Manics, and we watch all of Ice Cube.

Revol – Manic Street Preachers

I Must Stand – Ice Cube

The rest is kind of history, as the four of us partied a bit late into the night before collectively passing out in a tent around 2am.  A stunning day.  I remember strolling along the river in Reading early on the Sunday feeling really happy with life.

 

 

 

Three Songs – One Title – Special

special-1

Readers, we are going to have a couple of significant rule changse – well sort of. In a kind of pathetic attempt to keep people interested in this, I am invoking Chapter 12 Sub section 7 of the WYCRA Manifesto – which will be available on here fairly soon (this actually true, remember that big WYCRA Project I mentioned a few weeks ago, brace yourself, ). This states that

“SWC can change the rules to this contest at any time he likes.”

So here we go – although it’s not really a rule change.

On the first Saturday of every month, the scores on the doors will be reset to zero so everyone starts again on a level playing field.   I will also announce the ‘Monthly Winner’. At the end of the year the person with the most Monthly Wins will be declared Ultimate Champion. Does this makes sense? So as of next week you will have zero points. Which means there is everything to play for. So I am happy to announce that the monthly winner for March is Drew. Well Done Drew, there was a late surge from JC but he fell just short at the last hurdle.  But he has set the bar fairly high by getting up early.

There is another rule change – from now on (next week that is) there will be at least FIFTEEN points on offer each week. These will be broken down as follows: –

FIVE points for getting the one we consider to be the most obscure one

FOUR points for the not quite so obvious one and

So on down to the one point ‘really obvious’ one. Bonus points will be given for making recommendations of songs that we didn’t list but are brilliant songs. That all make sense I think.

Anyway – here are last weeks results.

Firstly the one who got away: –

Special – Mona – Mona were an American act who seemingly a few years ago had the world on a plate. They had a couple of good songs, a gobby front person who claimed that they were the greatest thing since giant crumpets – then everyone decides that they sound like Bon Jovi. Which they kind of did.  But you are going to have trust me because I can’t find the mp3 version of the song – and I can’t find the CD to back it up either, which is just shoddy – sorry, as an excuse I am rearranging lofts and stuff at the moment in the great house sort out of 2017 – its probably in the loft.  So I’ve linked another one of their songs instead.

Next up – Three points for JC – not that it matters this week, because he said ‘Oh and Garbage too’ and everyone else sighed and said ‘I thought of that too’ – because like twenty of you did. So take a point Rol, Walter, C, Jonny, and Lucy P.

Special – Garbage – Which is all kinds of lovely isn’t it.

Lastly – and another three points for Rol – because it’s

Special/Blown It – Mansun – which is something that no else mentioned. It’s taken from their ‘Six’ album which was one that I only rediscovered a few weeks ago. But rediscover it I did.

So for the ones that didn’t quite make it. First up over to JC who was up early so he could water his wifes beans. He said ‘New Order, came to mind immediately’ which is what we thought. Which is why we relegated it to the B List.   Drew followed him by saying the same thing and no one else did. Which surprised us because we thought it was too easy.

Special – New Order – I mean it was on their ‘Republic’ album so it might have been missed but, come on, it’s New Order.

The other one no one got and this might be because it’s a rather witty play on words

Specialist – Interpol – which I am sure I you can all see what we did there, and even if you didn’t, this is officially the 128th greatest song in the world and therefore essential bloody listening.

So over to the points for decent recommendations

Jonny gets most of these, he’s gets points for Jimmy Cliff and for Snoop Dogg. Someone who I met once, in the foyer of a Premier Inn in Exeter. True Story, I’d turned up for a meeting in the building next door and was early, so I nipped into the Premier Inn to get a cuppa and there was Snoop, three ladies, and a Polish guy I knew called Henrik. Snoop was in town for a gig, I am unsure what Henrik and the ladies were doing there.

There is also a point for whoever it was that mentioned Mew. Rol I think.

So – eyes down for next week. Remember scores are reset and there is everything to play for. This week’s word is rather appropriate and I didn’t plan this – everything on here as you know, pretty much randomly generated – because the word is “Change(s)”.

Do You Think We’ll Stand the Test of Time.

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Here’s KC with her continuing tale of brilliance, and also chaps, the very first mention on WYCRA I think of the phrase ‘Legs Akimbo’.

Once when I was fifteen I went to a riotous teenage party at my friend Penny’s house. There was drink, there was boys, there was rock music and I definitely half smoked a cigarette whilst trying to look cool in front of a lad called Andy Walker. I was big into the Britpop scene at the time (it was 1995 I think) and I probably thought I looked like Donna Matthews from Elastica – on reflection I probably looked more like Donna from Tescos but I tried.

After the party I decided to walk home, slightly drunk (ok quite drunk), a bit wobbly with my friend Alice. It was about half a mile. We left the party at around midnight, Alice lived two minutes from my house and was my best friend in the world (actually still is) we told each other everything. As we tottered down the street we got to the village green and decided that a sit down on the bench would be appropriate. The same bench that earlier that summer, I had sat on the edge of whilst Alice snogged the face off a lad called Sean for about twenty minutes at the other end whilst I sat there like a sad sack checking my nails and pretending that daisies were interesting.

Alice pulled out a crumpled packet of Marlboro (it was always Marlboro wasn’t it) and we smoked the last two (not that we were inhaling we kind of just took the smoke into our mouths and blew it out again, I was too scared to actually smoke because I’d been told it was cigarettes first and by the end of the week you were hooked on heroin like Zammo Maguire from Grange Hill). We chatted and Alice admitted that she fancied some older boy called Mike who hadn’t been at the party, Mike was in a band and they were playing a gig in Exeter on Saturday and she wanted to go. Badly. Really badly.   The problem was, a riotous teenage party in the village where pretty much everyone knew each other was one thing. A night at a proper club in Exeter was a different kettle of fish altogether.   Our parents would all say no.   So we concocted a plan. A plan so cunning that as Blackadder said ‘you could stick a tail on it and call it a fox’. We would lie to our parents. I would tell mine that I was staying at Alice’s and Alice would tell her that she is staying at mine. Perfect, I mean what could possibly go wrong there? To celebrate this we walked back singing Elastica songs, we think we sung them quietly but Dad revealed three days later that half the village phoned him the next day to complain about it.

Laughing at our evil cunning we staggered on home, arriving around one am. I was supposed to have been back about ninety minutes ago, but if I opened the door really quietly and tiptoed up to bed I’d be fine. Then I stopped. I’d remembered the squeaky stair – but was it the sixth or seventh one up? No problem I told my drunk fifteen year old self just leap over the two of them. I giggled at my brilliance.

It took about five attempts to get the key in the lock. After the fifth failure the door flung open and my mother stood in front of me, hair in rollers, dressing gown on, face like absolute thunder. Behind her my dad stood arms folded, dressing gown on, cup of tea going cold on the table. At least he had the decency to laugh when I fell inside the kitchen door after mum opened it.

I sat on the kitchen floor, legs akimbo and tried to say “Whoops” but I just looked at them both and said “Ssshhhh, you’ll wake dad”

“You are so grounded” another voice, I spun around, and my older sister Helen, is standing in the corner of the kitchen, eating yoghurt, smiling demonically at me. I point at both of her and say “You are so square” and then I vomited on the kitchen floor.

The following morning Alice comes round my house. She too has been grounded, we both look and feel terrible. We smile and laugh before realising that takes way too much energy.

“You and me against the world” she croaked and we gripped hands. I nodded feebly and then said “I’m going back to bed”. The revolution could start after a quick nap and some lunch.

Twenty odd years later, three days after I initiated divorce proceedings against my ex, there is a knock on the door – I open it and standing in front of me is Alice. She drops a massive suitcase on the floor and hugs me. “But, you’re in Spain…” I say into a frankly stunning mohair jumper.

“Nope, I was in Spain, your mum phoned me two days ago, said you needed cheering up, so I got the first flight and here I am. You and Me against the World. Remember?”

How could I forget?

Here are some songs from Elastica’s debut album, the second one of which was the song we sang quite late at night at the top of our voices.

All Nighter

Connection

Blue

Spiritualized Thursdays – Lazer Guided Melodies

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200 Bars

We reach May 1992 and the release of Spiritualized debut album, the seminal, the incredible, the magnificent ‘Lazer Guided Melodies’.  This folks is a masterpiece, yes you’ve got your ‘Ladies and Gentleman We are Floating In Space’, but this…Is.  Better.

It was a long time coming though and at times we all thought that they would never get there, but Jason Pierce fulfilled his statement of making a classic album.  This album is so many things apart from being simply awesome, there is depth, there is a vision that extends well beyond music’s normal parameters.  Its euphoric, its consoling, it’s spellbinding and I think that if ‘Screamdelica’ didn’t exist then we’d be looking at the Greatest Album Ever Made.

After three (admittedly great) cover versions and the wonderful ‘Feel So Sad’ it looked dodgy that this album would be as good as I am saying it is.  But it is.  It may sound or seem daft now but the album’s orginal conception as being four programmed movements to stop it being broken up, really works, its kind of saying – just play the bloody thing – don’t stick in on shuffle, or dip in and dip out.

Part of the ethos of this blog has always been to encourage people to buy the music that is being spoken about.  If you don’t own this album – then please buy it.  Do it today.  In the recent words of KC’s dad – don’t even stop to lock the door (actually do lock the door – but you know what I mean).  All of it is brilliant you won’t regret a single penny of whatever it costs to buy it.

Particularly the second half. That starts with ‘Take Your Time’ which takes this bass stretches to beyond what it should then adds a bluesy guitar and this gorgeous piano and creates a complex and absorbing track of spaced out rock.  Then you get ‘Shine A Light’ which as we know is already ‘The Greatest Musical Moment Ever’.  This is followed by ‘Angel Sigh’ which is the most lustful song Jason Pierce has ever written.  Those three tracks there are better than nearly everything ever recorded. Ever.  To have them together  in the space of fifteen minutes is just phenomenal.

Shine A Light

Take Your Time

 Then you get ‘Sway’ and as I forgot to post that last week, here it is.

Sway

Before you get ‘200 Bars’ closing the thing – in 200 Bars Kate Radley counts her way up to 100 before Jason starts singing, and you know what, listen to that closely, because if you ask Jason Pierce sounds positively excited when he bursts into that song.  He knows that he has just delivered genius. Although I actually think that they should have started the whole album with ‘200 Bars’ but then again I’m an idiot.

 

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Drowning by Numbers

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Another day another name change.  Still not happy with it.

Work – The 2 Bears

Ah, the spin off band.  The 2 Bears are Joe Goddard (left, beard) and Raf Rundell (right, bear) from electronic geniuses Hot Chip.  They formed in 2009 after Hot Chip all decided to do different things as well still be in Hot Chip.  This worked really well because whenever Hot Chip tour, usually the 2 Bears support them or one of the other off shoot bands do.

Ok – For one moment park what you think of Hot Chip (but if that is anything other than brilliant, then you need to reassess your lives and actually listen to them rather than just the odd song here and there and say they are useless) and consider the 2 Bears.  They are effortlessly wonderful.  They adore house music, deep soulful house music and believe me they do it brilliantly.  They believe in the redemptive power of dance.

Imagine if you like, that you are at a gig, a festival, a rave, anything where there is a dancefloor and people are dancing.  Then a song, a tune, a track comes in, the lights change, the mood changes from good to euphoric, arms raised, smiles broadening, a feeling of love across the room.  An experience.  A moment.  The coming together of a load of people – that’s what The 2 Bears set out to do with their music – but instead of trying that’s what they do.  They actually do it.

I saw The 2 Bears at Glastonbury a few years back at a small venue called The Stonebridge Bar it was late at night -around 1am if remember rightly and Four Tet had just finished a DJ Set – and they ambled on stage dressed in bear onesies and proceeded to play and play and play, like nothing else mattered.  I’m fairly sure Basement Jaxx and at least one member of the KLF joined them on stage at some point – and I left around 5am. Exhausted, drenched but smiling.  Really smiling.

They are a triumph.

Bear Hug

Increase Your Faith

More numbers next week.

 

The Series with No Theme – Part 4

no-theme

I am having a week off work.  I deserve it even if I do say so myself.  I have plans.  I intend to go shopping, take a drive up the North coast maybe do a bit of running, spot of lunch in one of my favourite pubs – that sort of thing.  Or so I thought, because on Monday morning my wife changes my plans for me.  She does this by bringing me a cup of tea in bed.  This is very nice but experience tells me that usually when she does this, she wants something.

“Darling” she says, this furthers my fears.  “You know how we have got enough storage space and I keep moaning about it?”.  This is true, we don’t really have enough storage space.  Our daughters toys are taking over the house, yesterday morning I tripped over an electronic dog left in the bathroom.  I nod and slurp at the same time.

“Well on Friday at work I ordered some storage cubes” Oh right, ok, makes sense.  I suppose.  “they weren’t expensive they will go inside the wardrobes” she says reading my mind and last weeks piece. “They arrive later on today, is that ok”.  I sigh. Yep, the trip to the pub can wait a day or so.

Around 11am there is a knock at the door, there is a man standing there with two massive boxes.  This will be the storage cubes I think to myself. I sign for the parcels and hoof them inside.  Then I stop.  I look at the parcels.  Surely cubes are supposed to be you know, cube shaped. Oh god.  Oh dear god.  Oh.  They are flat packed.

Folks, there are undiscovered tribes in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon with no concept of screwdrivers, storage cubes, hammers or dowels rods that can assemble flat packed storage cubes better than me.  I sigh for the second time of the day and unpack the boxes.

There is a lot of wood, some screws, some nails, some small pieces of dowel rod and some larger pieces of dowel rods and a small sheet of instructions.  I look at the instructions and sigh for the third time. Its not that they make no sense, its just that I can’t understand them.  I don’t know what a panelling rod is and I have even less idea what the supporting bull’s eye plug is.  They certainly bear no resemblance to what I have here, ah, that will be it, I have the wrong instructions. So I fire up the Internet and manage to find the right instructions.  After lunch that is.

It takes me roughly two hours to put the thing together, its not that difficult to be honest, its a fucking cube with shelves, I’m not an idiot. I mean its not that straight, and I chipped the edge of it whilst banging those annoying little tack things into the back off it and I used the wrong piece of dowel rod on one of the shelves so it has a slight lean – but you’ll never see the Bluetac I used to compensate that.  But I made it.

I stand back and admire my brilliance.  Then I remember that it needs to go inside the wardrobe. I open the doors and pick the cube up.  It doesn’t fit. I try again.  It doesn’t fit and now the side has come loose.  I bang the side in again and scratch my head.  Then I realise.  You make it inside the wardrobe.  So I dismantle the cube, this takes roughly twenty seconds.  I then remake the cube in the wardrobe, I re chip the edge when I put the back on again, and I also bruise my thumb by jamming it against the wardrobe side.

I stand back and the fucking door won’t close.  This because a coathanger has fallen down the back and the cube can’t go back as far as it should.  I move the coathanger and the door now shuts.  I sigh again.

Just as I do that I hear the front door open and the scream of “Daddy” from my daughter which followed by a story about how she and her friends have been playing ‘Elephants’ at Preschool today. It is twenty past five.  Four hours that has taken me.

“How you getting on?” my wife asks.  I whip open the wardrobe door and display my handiwork.

“Is that Bluetac?” she says followed by “What about the other one?”. I usher my daughter out of the room and then I swear into a handily placed pillow.

Here are three songs for today

The Great Divide – Fucked Up

Good and Gone – Frank Turner

Tears Are Cool – Teenage Fanclub

More next week – when I will putting up a shed.

 

(Relatively) New Band of the Week

spinning

Number Two – Spinning Coin

Ok – I’ll define new since one rude bugger out there who is indier than thou asked the question in this way “Leif Erikson aren’t new, you fucking twat, they have been around for years, I saw them supporting Alt-J in 2014.  What next new band ‘New Order'”.

Well thanks, love you too.

The I saw them first queue is over there and wash your mouth out whilst you are there and beside technically right now New Order are kind of New.

By new I mean New to me at least.  I don’t care if you saw them first in a cow shed in Bournemouth and it was their second ever rehearsal when the singer was even scared to sing in front of a bunch of dollies.  New to me.  Ok.

The point of this series is to highlight some bands that are pretty good and make music that I like.  Not to show off. Ok, now on to a band which I am pretty sure a few of our Scottish pals will have already seen or heard of it (and please feel free to share your reviews of  them)

Who: Spinning Coin

Hometown: Glasgow

The Background : As like most bands out there Spinning Coin formed from the break up of other bands, in this case, bands that I have never heard such as The Yawns and the excellently named Breakfast Muff.  Spinning Coin emerged in 2015 and soon released the debut eponymously titled EP which evoked memories of early Teenage Fanclub and Pastels and in fact they have I think just signed to The Pastels own record label.

The Hype: “Spinning Coin sound like the sun coming out from behind the clouds, lighting up a wet Sunday afternoon north of the border”.  Or if you want something less silly ‘Spinning Coin are magic’ which is a direct quote from one of the Pastels.

For Fans Of: Well Teenage Fanclub obviously, The Magic Numbers, anyone who adores things released on Postcard Records.

Check Out: ‘Albany’ released on Geographic Records last year and new single ‘Raining On Hope Street’.  Which is fairly incredible and easily the best single released so far  this year.

More next week.

 

 

The WYCRA Guide to Festival Past – Reading 1994

reading 1994

Day One – Friday

Reading 1994 was supposed to be a turning point in my life.  When I agreed to go, I was happily dating she who is not to be named, and a whole gang of us had decided to go together. One big last blow out before most of went our separate ways to University or work or dossing about.

Then she dumped me outside a club in Reading in the pissing rain whilst Scarfo finished their fourth ever gig.  Roughly six weeks later the festival arrived and I decided that instead of moping around feeling sorry for myself that I would go anyway.  On my own.   Only it turned out that I didn’t need to go on my own.  On the Tuesday I got a call at home from my friend Chris (the nice one) who had managed to get his hands on not one but three tickets for the festival so his mate Brummie Jon and his girlfriend Dianne were both coming as well.   As well as that they were bringing a couple of others with them, Gail and Tracey, who I vaguely knew from the pub in Maidstone we all drunk in.  Hurrah!  I would not be alone after all.

I saw a lot of bands on the Friday, I don’t really remember what the weather was doing either, I don’t remember it raining, it definitely rained on the Saturday because I remember watching the bloody Senseless Things in the rain.  Friday started with me sort of half watching the Flaming Lips, I say watching we was all more sitting in the field – some were getting stoned, others were drinking some cheap wine that we’d bought from Kwik Save – does that still exist?

Race For the Prize

We must have looked ridiculous to be honest.  I do remember thinking it was like midday on a Friday and three of the five people I was sitting with were all totally stoned by then.

Next up The Verve, who, despite being excellent were also preposterously pompous and overblown. They played a lot of stuff from ‘A Storm In Heaven’ and at around half past one on a sunny Friday in Berkshire I don’t think people were ready for it.  Had it been dark or better still, dusk, it would have been ideal.

Slide Away

Sometime in the afternoon, Chris and I got talking to a couple of Scottish lasses, Karen and Fiona, they were from Blairgowrie, somewhere they told me that was ‘Deep in the Highlands and full of gangsters’.  I laughed and said ‘It can’t be as bad as Chatham’.  I’m pretty sure that we started talking to them after Chris ‘helped them roll a joint’ during Honky in the Melody Maker Tent (it transpired around 30 hours later that they were actually expert joint rollers).  Honky for those who don’t remember where a white hip hop band who were beloved on the NME for about six weeks.  I don’t own anything by them though.  They were terrible live as well.  We’ll stay in the tent though because next up was Sleeper fronted by the marvellous Louise Wener.  She was angry because on the official posters for Reading 1994, her band were advertised as ‘Leeper’ – although they seem to have changed it before the actual festival started.

Alice In Vain

After that we said goodbye to our new friends, and agreed to meet up with them later, I saw the end of Hole.  That sounds rude, sorry.  We saw the last ten minutes of Courtney Love’s well publicised breakdown on stage – a performance which came just four months after her husband had blown his head off.  A performance for which the media was cruel and heartless towards her, but in all fairness, they were rubbish and the recent events had obviously taken its toll.

The mood was a little odd to be honest after that.  So it was lucky that Pavement, another Reading Festival favourite (three festivals, three performances) were on hand to cheer everyone up.  I know now that my absent blogging buddy Tim Badger was at this festival and that he saw that Pavement performance and that he said that this was he stand out moment of the entire festival

Gold Soundz

Around this time in 1994 for some unknown reason Evan Dando was one of the biggest rock stars on the planet.  Everyone loved him right then, even Courtney Love if the media nonsense circulating around the place was true.  Somehow his band had made it to second on the bill and frankly they were a little bit out of place.  I only saw them because our two new Scottish friends wanted to watch them and we kind of agreed to meet them.  For the first time in a long while I’d let my trousers think instead of my head.  I should have watched Lush and the Wedding Present rather than Dando and Cypress Hill.  Still, they played this which remains my favourite Lemonheads song to this day so it wasn’t all bad.  Just mostly.

Confetti

The Reading Organisers were obviously looking for a band to wow the masses in a way that Public Enemy had a few years earlier.  Cypress Hill fitted that bill a band seemingly liked by different groups of music fans, indie kids like them, rock kids liked them and those in between kind of tolerated them.  But man it was smoky down the front.  For a short while the first hundred metres from the stage backwards turned into a small area of rural Mexico.  The blunts were big, the beats were whack and then I ran out of stereotypical ways to describe 30000 getting stoned.  They were fairly enjoyable to be honest, it was a good gig, and I don’t mean to show off here, but I did get to snog Karen at the end of it, which kind of made me feel nice in a way that I hadn’t for a little while.

What Goes Around Comes Around

Next Week Saturday and Primal Scream