Let me the one that shines with you


Slide Away

I’m going to move things on a little bit, in more ways than one.

It is about a month since the dog incident and Daniel and I are progressing nicely. We have been out a few times, the cinema, the pub, restaurants, a couple of lovely drives in the countryside. On one of these drives we ended up on a beach in the South Hams and wandered along it hand in hand before arriving at the end of a beach which was just a tiny spit of land. We sat right at the end, drunk some water and kind of just stared in the mass of sea. The sun was out, the sky was cloudless, it was kind of lovely. A little bit too romcommy perhaps but you know what works for Jennifer Aniston is pretty much ok for me.

Then the Red Arrows appeared, three of them. I say appeared, I mean I heard them and then suddenly they were just there emerging from behind some big cliffs like Godzilla in one of those tacky Japanese films of the seventies.

Now I love the Red Arrows, I love their closely choreographed displays of daredevilry. I love to gasp and to ooh and aah as they fly within inches of each other. It turned a lovely afternoon into something near perfection, a lovely walk that ends with an almost private Red Arrow display. I mean what’s not love about that.

“I asked them to turn up about now” Daniel said looking at his watch. Which was pretty much the right thing to say I think. Of course they were out practicing for an air show nearby, and it was pure luck but you know the sentiment was right. It was to be precise the moment when a mass of blue, red and white smoke filled the air after a particularly dangerous flying manoeuvre that I decided that I needed to and wanted to move this relationship on. I’m not sure if that’s a metaphor or not. Also I’ll add that I didn’t mean right now there and then but I had decided that I was going to ask Daniel to stay the night.

I linked my arm through Daniels and kind of perched my head on his shoulder like a hungry Barn Owl and he just kind of smiled at me. When the Arrows had finished showing off, we walked back to the car park. I was driving that day, and when we got to Daniels house, I turned the engine off and we kind of had a chat about random nonsense.

Now, this guys, is the point, when after a lovely day, a wonderful afternoon, when it is acceptable to turn round to your date and ask them in for a cup of tea or something without sounding pushy because the chances are that your date will agree. Daniel didn’t do this he just opens the door, leans over and kisses me like I’m his aunt or something and tells me he’ll see me later. To say I was cross didn’t come close.

As I drove home, (and this where the music comes in as ‘Definitely Maybe’ was playing on the stereo that evening) that exit niggled at me, perhaps I have been over reacting or something perhaps he didn’t feel the same way. I don’t know. Something else hit me, as I recalled the afternoon with Alice on the phone – I had never been inside Daniels house. He is always waiting for me by the gate when I arrive to pick him up. I mean he’s been to my place several times but I didn’t even know what colour his carpet was and guys that’s really important because if its mauve I don’t want to come in anyway.

Alice as usual was blunt and to the point.

“It’s one of four things” she said. I heard the sound of something like wine being poured into a glass and a cigarette being lit. I hope that she is not having this conversation in a public place. “Firstly he’s married or has a significant other.” There is a fairly large gulp and what sounds like smoke being inhaled.

Cigarettes and Alcohol

“I don’t think it’s that though” She continued, “because you would have seen a sign earlier and he would have definitely tried to fuck you by now, rather than just copping a feel on your sofa”. I find myself blushing and tell myself not to be so open with Alice in the future but I also agreed with her. Daniel was definitely not married, he was too introverted, too agreeable if that makes sense. I had asked him to be patient with me explained about the break up and all that and he had quickly and without argument agreed.

“Secondly, his house is an absolute shit pit, dirty pants over the floor, porn mags, tissues, crisps and he forgot to clean it”. I find myself shaking my head and cringing slightly “he lives with his mum, she will have done his washing” I tell her about his dad’s accident to which she responds.

“Yeah so he says – but there’s your third reason – his mum is clingy, protective and will ask you about a thousand questions before the tea’s been served and he’s embarrassed. The chances of him smuggling you in at midnight and then you being woken up my mummy serving him tea and biscuits along with a clean shirt in the morning are too high and he won’t really want to be seen as a wam bam thank you love, do you want to shower before you leave type of guy”. She then tells me a positively disgusting story about her and a French guy she met in Cannes who did that to her. I’ll save it for another day if you don’t mind (SWC adds Actually I have asked KC to ask Alice to write something on here).

I decide that this is probably the case. He’s not embarrassed by me, but is worried that I will think he is a mother’s boy. I mean I already think that but he is scared that it will put me off or something. I find myself smiling. Then I ask, and I wish I hadn’t

“What’s the fourth thing?”

There is a short silence, probably refilling the wine glass.

“Well this is the most likely scenario” she says “and it’s startlingly obvious from where I’m sitting. He’s a virgin, because any sane experienced person would have given their mother a tenner and sent her off to bingo for the night and given you a relatively pleasant 100 seconds or so.” (SWC and Badger add – Damn right)

She laughs. I laugh. I say I hope that 100 seconds is an estimate. Eventually Alice says

“Invite him round, tell him he can stay if he wants, see how he reacts, or ask him if he fancies a weekend away, you can come here if you like”

Not bloody likely I tell her. She’ll be outside the door shouting encouragement whilst holding a stopwatch.



Rest Day Thursday – JC


This Girl, Black Girl – The Go – Betweens

SWC writes – Here’s JC with a lovely little story.  This is the first time that The Go – Betweens have featured on WYCRA which is probably our bad.  We hope to rectify that situation as soon as possible.  I was going to be lazy and put something by The Goon Sax at the end of this but instead I’ve posted something with a similar title. 

I moved out of the parental home into my first student digs in August 1983.  I was entering third year at Uni.  The reason it had taken so long to do so was that the uni I’d chosen to go to was just four miles from my front door and on a direct bus route.  There was no need to live independently.

But a few months earlier, my 17-year old brother had gotten his even younger girlfriend pregnant and suddenly home life was just a tad chaotic.  I asked two friends – Euan and Graeme – if they wouldn’t mind taking on a slightly bigger flat and allowing me to move in with them. It was a relief when they answered in the affirmative.

The flat we took on was one owned and managed by the uni itself. It was adjacent to the campus right in the heart of Glasgow city centre.  The rent was £510 per person for a calendar year, to be paid upfront. I borrowed the money from my folks and that was me.

It’s fair to say things changed completely for me in this flat with all sorts of events and happenings that would in turn mould and shape me into the sort of person I would become in later life.  The three of us tried to get the best mix possible of studying and socialising, and to some extent we succeeded although Euan at the end of it needed a couple of re-sits to get into his next year.

Graeme came from a reasonably well-off family and he spent all his money on records.  It was an astonishing and eclectic selection of singles and albums that made for great soundtracks every Thursday, Friday and Saturday as we readied ourselves for late nights at the student union.  One of the songs that I fell for was the b-side to a new single by The Go-Betweens.  The song was called ‘This Girl, Black Girl’.  It’s difficult to put into words why this very short two-and-a-half minute song, more than many others, had such an impact on me.  It’s a sad sounding number but the music feels uplifting;  there’s no real narrative as such which means it can be open to all sorts of interpretations….although it’s certainly about death with references to hearses, lilies and skeletons; the thing is I never thought too much about it at the time – it was just a song that lodged in my brain and never left it.

Fast forward 23 years.  I’ve just got a new PC at home and am learning to surf the internet.  I’m particularly attracted to sites that are dedicated to music, especially those that focussed on the indie scenes of the 80s.  I think to myself that I might have a stab at doing likewise myself if only I could work out how.

One day I come across a blog called ‘Let’s Kiss And Make Up’.  The bloke in charge of it – Colin – seems to have similar tastes as mine and I make a note to drop him a note to ask for advice and tips on how to set up my own place.  But I keep putting it off as he, and the writers at all the other place he provides links to, all seem to write in a way that is well beyond my capabilities.

In May 2006, Grant McLennan of The Go-Betweens dies of heart failure, in his sleep, at the shockingly young age of 48.  Colin’s tribute on his blog is by far the best I read, including those penned by professional writers in newspapers and magazines the world over.    I leave a comment at his place telling him this.  I also ask, if he could add to the tribute by posting ‘This Girl, Black Girl’ as it was a song I hadn’t heard in decades.  This marked the first time I’d ever felt confident enough to offer my opinion on anyone’s blog.

The song was posted the next day along with some nice words from Colin that thanked me for getting in touch. This then led to me e-mailing him asking for advice and tips on how to set up a blog.  His response was friendly and encouraging, including an easy-to-understand guide on how to register with a host, how to attach mp3s and images and, most importantly, how to reach out and find an appreciative audience.

It is fair to say that without him, I wouldn’t have gotten The Vinyl Villain off the ground. And it’s equally fair to say that this particular b-side from 1983 was the spark for the whole thing.  And that’s why I wanted to have it feature on Rest Day Thursdays.

Thank you for reading.


And that folks is why JC is the Daddy of the blogging world. I’ll leave you with this.   

This Girl – Chumbawamba

Remember if you would like to contribute pick a song, any song, write about it, and send it to us.

WYCRAS Best 50 Second Album – Number 35


Antics – Interpol (2004) – Chosen by Badger


May as well call this Interpol week on WYCRA.

In a few weeks’ time KC will enthral you all with a tale of how she met SWC. It involves mojitos. I’ll leave it there. I met KC for the first time about a month later on her second day in our office. I was reading Q magazine in the kitchen whilst waiting for the kettle to boil. It had in fact boiled about three times but I was lost in an Arcade Fire article.

KC made the tea and left it in front of me. The first thing she said to me was ‘Milk and None I reckon’. Spot on as it happens.

The second time I spoke to her (two days later) I gave her a lift to a training session we were both on. This album was playing in the car. It turns out Interpol were one of her favourite bands – something she sort of hinted at in last Fridays outstanding piece – she far prefers the first album, where as I love the second one.

Length of Love.

I love Interpol because despite originally sounding like the desperate Joy Division obsessives they obviously are – they still manage to sound fresh and new. Now a lot of people (KC included) say that ‘Antics’ is too similar to the debut to be as good, but a lot of people are wrong.

‘Antics’ is poppier than ‘Turn on the Bright Lights’, it more danceable than ‘Turn on the Bright Lights’, the songs are better ‘Slow Hands’ is easily better than anything on the debut album. If the first album sounds like Joy Division the second one sounds like REM, an REM when they were good as well (anything before ‘Monster’ I’d say). It rocks out (god, sorry, that makes me sound like an old duffer, which obviously I am) then pauses, then the guitars return and you can Paul Banks’s beautifully calm vocals just straining to be heard above the splendid racket unfolding underneath it.

Slow Hands

The fact is this isn’t ‘Turn on the Bright Lights’ mark two, they haven’t repeated anything, they’ve improved it. The debut set the benchmark and this album shifted it up a notch or two.



WYCRAS Best 50 Second Albums – Number 36


Nevermind – Nirvana (1994) – Chosen by Badger

Come As You Are

Apologies for repeating myself, but I was in a newsagents in Leeds buying milk when I’d found out that Kurt Cobain had shot himself. I was told that the most important rock star on the planet (at the time) had committed suicide by an Indian chap who knew nothing about music and referred to him as Kirk Cocaine. Devastated doesn’t even come near to what I felt at the time. I’ll go further, for three months I boycotted that shop because in some way I blamed the owner for Cobain’s death. I boycotted his shop. I was 26 years of age for fucks sake. This act of silliness meant that instead of a ten minute walk in the mornings I had a thirty minute one.

Anyway. I was 22 when I first heard Nirvana. It was the spring of 1990. A mate of mine had ‘Bleach’ on vinyl and I remember listening to it in his bedsit and thinking that it was a bloody racket. Then I heard ‘About A Girl’ and re-evaluated my thoughts. Around then I was hooked.

The impact ‘Nevermind’ had on me was incredible. It changed the music I listened to, the bands I watched, the way I played guitar, the clothes I wore, the friends I made, the girls I hung around with, everything.

On A Plain

Saying that this album pretty much changed the course of popular music. I remember reading somewhere a few years back that Geffen records hoped to sell 250,000 copies of ‘Nevermind’, but it’s actually sold TEN TIMES that.

I remember seeing Nirvana live in some venue in Manchester, I forget the name of it but I remember wishing I was ten years younger and instead of being a bloke in his mid twenties that I was teenager. I remember thinking that here was a band that I might have been able to grow up with. I loved their energy, their tightness, their sheer bloody brilliance. I’ll say it now if you missed ever seeing Nirvana live, you missed out. Big Time. If you don’t or didn’t get them, try harder, listen again.

Take the two best known singles ‘Come as You Are’ and ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ – they are exemplary rock singles, they become anthems for disaffected kids across the world quicker than anything before or after. Yes, you could argue they ripped off the Pixies, but actually they just twisted the Pixies formula.


But what made Nirvana stand out from the crowd was Kurts vocals. Hurt, Hungry, Haunted, desperate, a voice that you remember well after the music has stopped.

This album has bene reviewed and re-evaluated so many times because of what happened after which is unfair but understandable, but every review I read be it a new one or an old one says the same thing. It is a Classic.

Monday Morning Long Song


Cups – Underworld

One upon a time I worked in a bar in the Maltese City of Valletta. I say worked. I was there for three days as a favour to a bloke I knew and occasionally I pulled the odd pint. My second night there was live music night. The bar was frequented by UK tourists and the live music was aimed at them. The act was a bloke called ‘Pelle’ who was in his 40s, and had a moustache, mullet, and an open shirt revealing a medallion. He looked like a porn star.
He walked in to the place slung his leather jacket over his shoulder (it was like 90 degrees outside) marched up to the bar clicked his Cuban heels together and said to me in broken English “Hey Dude, give me an iced tea”. Iced tea. That’s how cool this mofo was.

He was a terrible singer as is happens. He sang classic pop hits over the sound of a keyboard permanently stuck on ‘musak beat’, but I tell you what, man he could play the keyboards, like a Maltese Jean Micheal Jarre he was.

From some reason that bar and that night in particular remind me of ‘Beaucoup Fish’ by Underworld. I’m not sure why as that record wasn’t even released when I worked in that bar but it just does.

If Spacemen 3 are the king of the long song then Underworld are the heirs to the throne. This is glorious, an eleven minute spaced out jazzy ambient joy with a weird vocoded vocal over the top of it. Bliss.



Tim Badgers Musical Snakes and Ladders – Roll Six


So let’s recap.  When you left us, I was sort of surging up  the table, SWC was getting annoyed because the only ladder he’d managed to go up was a broken ladder and both of us were struggling to catch KC who herself was languishing in the barren wilderness that is Squares 50 to 59. Got that.

So KC is rolling first and its a 2 – her third throw of less than 3 in a row.  She moved 50 spaces in three rolls and now she’s moves five spaces in three rolls.  Still 2 puts her on 55 and that means

James – Knuckle Too far – which is taken from their excellent ‘Laid’ album although KC appears to disagree with this.  “Urgh, James, I’ll pass please.”  She’s still in the lead though.

Next up its SWC who has been languishing in last place.  SWC for some reason blows the dice before putting it into the red shaker.  The lady who has been watching, who we have largely forgotten about suddenly says “oooh, new tactic” – and SWC nods.  He nods. Please let him roll a one.  He rolls a 5.  Taking him to Square 27.  He’s gaining ground.

Square 27 is

Manic Street Preachers – Black Dog My Shoulder – Which is taken from their ‘This is My Truth…’ album which was just kind of.  SWC agrees “I loved the Manics, then I didn’t then I did and right now I do, but I don’t like this album much.”.  Glad that’s all cleared up.

Right I’m up.  I look at the board.  I don’t want to roll a four.  A four would take me down a snake all the way to number 3.  I look at SWC – I look him right in the eye and give the dice a dramatic blow before I pop it in the shaker.  The lady shakes her head “That won’t work twice” she says sagely.  I kind of harrumph at her, what does she know, she’s eating last nights chilli out of a Dora the Explorer lunch box. I roll.

Four. Fucking Fuckity Fuck.

Square 40 is this

Glavegas – Stabbed – which is taken from their excellent debut album ‘Glasvegas’ an album which I really like, but right now I feel like smashing the thing to bits on the floor and never listening to their stupid songs ever again.  The snake takes me all the way back down to Square 3.  A place I last visited on roll two.  Four decent rolls all undone.  Square three was originally something by Yak – and the rules states that if we land on a Square twice then we will post something else by that band.  So folks here is some Yak.

Yak – Smile – Which is taken from their ‘Plastic People EP’ from a couple of years ago.  Its very good, they are very good.

So over to the odds

KC Square 55 – nearest Ladder at Square 60 – way out in the lead dropping to 6- 1

SWC Square 27 – nearest ladder at 29 – improving with age 15-1

Badger Square 3 – Falling faster than a Tory majority and back out to somewhere around 5000 – 1.




The Saturday Song Challenge – Yeah


‘Yeah’ is as Walter puts it a great word for a challenge. There are it turns out a few hundred songs with yeah or yeah yeah and so on that could be right or wrong. I was going to be clever and try and award one point for a song called ‘yeah’ and five points for one called ‘yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah’ but that would mean that The Wedding Present would be awarded five points and we can’t have that.

So let’s see what everyone put – Walter was first out of bed last weekend and he offers up four wrong answers, including this weeks obvious Red Herring The Wannadies, which was a correct answer until three weeks ago before I remembered I had a really obscure called ‘yeah!’. Walter gets a point though for introducing me to some German hip hop called Der Fantastischen Vier. This point takes Walter to FOUR points.
The Swede also offers us a bunch of wrong answers including one from Menomena which earns him a point, taking him to TWO points. We have to wait until the arrival of Drew for our first success of the day.
‘LCD Soundsystem – but which version – crass or pretentious’ – to which I will say
“Pretentious Moi? Page Nine of the WYCRA Manifesto clearly states “Comrades will wherever possibly take crass over pretention”. But this slice of genius

Yeah (Crass Version) – LCD Soundsystem

Earns you three points which for now takes you to NINE points. Let’s see what else you have mentioned oh the Wedding Present you say. Make that TEN points then because

Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah – The Wedding Present

Was our one point answer. An answer that was also selected by JC (finally up to ZERO points) as did The Great Gog who can have a point too taking him up to TWO points. Current leader Matt also chips in with this as well, taking him to EIGHT points

Blue Betty was up next and they kept it fairly short and sweet and correct with a quick

Yeah Yeah – Spiritualized – Spot on Blue which I think takes you back up to ONE point I think.

Excuse us a minute we are going back to last week as Drew is back and he appears to be questioning the word of Badger following last weeks ruling over Broadcast.

“Angel is not credited to Broadcast on the vinyl version of ‘Casino Classics” he tells me. Well here’s Badger to answer that

“It is on the CD version and page Eleven of the WYCRA states that “Comrades will not question the answers of the Saturday Song Challenge however preposterous the answer may seem. Insubordination will be met with a fine”.

Or if this case a deduction of TEN points, which takes you back down to ZERO I’m afraid (look Drew, Badger made me do it – he’s bigger than me – and he gave me a Chinese Burn)

Echorich is also right when he says that “probably won’t get anywhere’ with the Magnetic Fields” but he will get a point for the Tracey Thorn thing, largely because its Tracey Thorn and she’s great. I think that puts you onto TWO points for the month.

Rigid is back and claims that he will try harder and then mentions Aerosmith and Badger interjects again.

“I’ve warned you about Aerosmith before” he chirrups. “Take a point off”. Now I should say as we type this Badger and I have been on the wrong end of a long day and he is in a very bad mood. Sorry Rigid – I refer to the brackets section of Drews deduction, this time I am in a half nelson as I write you are on MINUS FOUR.

Now to this week’s contentious issue. Two people choose a correct answer at pretty much the same time. Step forward George and Rol. They both offered

The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song – The Flaming Lips

Which is our FOUR point answer this week but because you both mentioned it at the same time we are splitting the points. This take George to SEVEN points and second place ( thanks largely to KC’s generous Patsy Cline ruling) and takes Rol to FIVE points but then Rol forgot to include the Flaming Lips in his final five answers which mean he drops back to THREE points, which immediately goes back up to FOUR for a mention of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. He also mentions Spiritualized but that would have been six answers. Controversy. It also pushes George back up to NINE and he becomes the current leader. Woo and indeed Hoo.

Over to GMFree and his wife who again manages to do better than he does. She gets a point for McAlmont and Butler which although is not called ‘Yeah’ but ‘Yes’ it’s pretty much the same thing. Mrs GM is on TWO points.

JC finally put his golf club down to give us five answers one all in order of the number of ‘Yeahs’ in the title. He also left me a shiny apple on my desk alongside his answers and apart from The Wedding Present they are all wrong. Sorry JC. Have a point for effort which takes you to ONE point.

Here is the five point song which no one got

Yeah! – Supemodel

Which is a punky two minute blast of noise

Which leaves us with only two things to say. Firstly I’m going to mention CC – Charity Chic – and I’m going to leave FIFTY points by his side, if he wants them. This challenge is meaningless when it’s put in context with reality. But there are times when collectively we can support each other and whilst we here can do very little to make things easy CC, this month, you are our champion. Stay strong my friend.

Secondly next week’s word and the word is ‘STAY’.

Class Dismissed.


Oh She’s Bad


Before I start, Happy Birthday SWC.

Obstacle 1

It’s a little bit funny, that feeling inside as that bloke with the specs once sang. It is so true though, that one line, because roughly 12 hours after I left Daniel in the car park, I feel a bit giddy, a bit silly, at times I grin like a cat on acid and then I am met with moments of crushing doubt. I feel a bit embarrassed too, although I am not sure why. I’m pretty sure complete strangers have given me knowing looks this morning. I walked to the shop near my flat this morning and I was convinced that I and my ‘clandestine embrace’ in the car park last night would be on the front page of the local paper. It isn’t of course, seemingly, some news about a councillor being caught with 20 grand in used notes in a house linked to cannabis production is deemed more important.

In times like these, when I am in doubt, or I need girly advice about ‘matters of the heart’. I revert to my oracle. I phone Alice. And what follows is kind of word for word what happened next. We exchange pleasantries over the phone and then I tell her that I’ve met someone, someone nice, someone lovely who I quite like, and by quite I mean really like. I also tell her that it’s all a bit of daze and I’m probably being daft but I just don’t know what to think and I don’t know if I am just thinking like this because he is the first person to pay me some attention since my ex . I waffle on at her for about four minutes and then she interrupts me.

“KC, darling”. She’s going to be blunt and direct. She uses ‘Darling’ when that’s going to happen.

“Yes” I say.

“When you woke up this morning, after you done the usual stuff. What was the first thing you thought about, was it what you were going to have for breakfast or was it him and in specific, was it kissing him”. There is a silence. A pause so pregnant that it’s currently in Mothercare trying on special leak proof underwear.

“Well, it was him I suppose”. I say eventually.

She laughs, a dirty kind of Sid James laugh. “I knew it, you tramp”. We laugh and I relax a bit. “You know what I would do” she says.

Now I do indeed know what she would do and there is no other way of putting it, I brace myself for it and to quote the song at the top ‘Oh She’s Bad’.

“I’d fuck him”.

And there it is. There is another pause. Even more pregnant than the last one. This one is probably having twins and the water has just broken on the floor of Waitrose.

There is laughter. “But you are not me” she says eventually. “Look” she says “Take your time, enjoy yourself. If it feels right, it probably is and then when you are ready phone him, invite him round for dinner, cook him your famous egg and chips, bit of nice music, drop of wine, tell him there is a spare toothbrush in the drawer if it’s getting too late to drive”. This is the most motherly sounding advice Alice has ever given apart from the toothbrush bit. “Oh and send me a picture of him” she adds on the end. I’m nodding. I don’t know why she can’t see me.

“Darling” she says and I brace myself again. “You need to move on. You’ve done the hard bit, you’ve got a new flat, a new job, and you’ve turned your back on the past. You deserve to be happy now. It doesn’t matter what people think, it only matters what you think.” And by now I am in tears and that statement replaced the one above it as the most motherly sounding advice dished out my Alice and to quote the last song of the day “it takes a long time just to get this straight”.

Three hours later, I walk into the Oxfam shop where Daniel is working. I’d phoned him earlier and asked him if he was in there as I would be passing by. I browse the CDs as I wait for the one customer to leave. I smile at him, he smiles back as I place a CD on the counter. He wanders around the counter and we, you know, ‘say hello’, with a cautious look towards the door.

“Fancy a drink later on?” I ask him.


Obstacle 2

Rest Day Thursday – Seven – The Great Gog


KC writes – Remember the WYCRA Colour Chart – an ill thought run down of the greatest songs in the world to feature in colour in the title?  No?  Me neither.  I’m told that the top ten are buried in a time capsule deep under Glastonbury Tor and will only be revealed in the event of a zombie attack in Stevenage.  So expect them sometime around February 2019.  

As part of that run down the boys asked people to pick a number and write about the record at that number.  The Great Gog did that and picked Number 27.  Number 27 was ‘Silver’ by Echo and the Bunnymen.  A song that just happened to mean an awful lot to him and guys if a song of the quality of ‘Silver’ was Number 27 then I think we deserve to hear the Top 26 don’t you…

Anyway, The Great Gog decided to write about ‘Silver’ anyway and here are the results.  I’ve added the second track, as it happens to be my favourite song about ‘Dancing Horses’. 

My parents were born in the mid-1930s. They met in the early 1950s, before rock ‘n’ roll was a thing, and by the mid-1960s when I rolled up, they had amassed a record collection which would have served well as a playlist for the new Radio 2 station at its launch the following year. There was nothing by the Stones (despite Paint It, Black being No. 1 on the day I was born) and only one Beatles record (bizarrely, the Twist & Shout EP). The Hollies were OK though – there were a few of theirs, presumably because unlike the Fab Four, they hailed from the “correct” end of the East Lancs Road.
Throughout the next eighteen years, additions were made, with albums from the likes of Andy Williams, Perry Como, James Last and Richard Clayderman appearing on a regular basis. With that background, it probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise that I was a very early starter in the “liking music your parents don’t” stakes – at the age of five to be precise. Seeing T. Rex performing Hot Love on what I presume must have been Top Of The Pops was my eye-opener and I clearly remember my father’s horrified reaction when I pointed at Marc Bolan and announced that I wanted to be like him when I grew up.
So, by April 1984, just a month or so shy of my eighteenth birthday, my parents had grudgingly accepted that this wasn’t a phase I was going through and that I had acquired a lot of vinyl that they didn’t want anywhere near the stereo in the living room.
That was when something rather strange happened as we ate our evening meal. I presume there must have been a lull in the usual conversation, which would have been around the seeming lack of revision I was doing for my forthcoming A Levels (a conversation that is strangely being repeated right now with my eldest…). My father suddenly asked, “Echo And The Bunnymen – are they one of those groups you listen to?”. Bracing myself for some sort of sarcastic remark, I looked at my sister, rolled my eyes and replied in the affirmative. “Their new one’s very good”, he stated. My sister and I looked at each other.
It was she who took the initiative, guessing at what she thought was going on. “The Killing Moon is their old one, Dad”, she said, “they’ve got a new one out now”. My father put down his cutlery, clearly affronted by her comment. “No”, he said very pointedly, “I mean the new one. Something to do with fingertips”.
The ensuing conversation revealed that in the timber yard where my father worked, the radio was on pretty much constantly in the various buildings on the site. In recent years, as the average age of the workforce had lowered in relation to my father’s, Radio 1 had become the station of choice, exposing him to some of the “rubbish” he believed I listened to.
My father didn’t really elaborate too much on what it was he liked about Silver, but there was a post-A Level conversation where he described Seven Seas as “another good one”. He had started buying cassettes to play in the car around that time and had moved onto The Eagles among others – maybe this had paved the way to him liking the works of Ian McCulloch and co.
So that’s Silver and what it means to me. I never did sit my father down and play Ocean Rain to him as I did OK in those A-Levels, went to Uni and those family evening meals became a thing of the past. I’m not sure if he’d have liked all of it, but I always think of him when playing tracks from it.
As a footnote, my father passed away a few years ago after a prolonged illness. He lost interest in most things, including music. However, my mother has picked up the mantle of surprising the offspring with musical observations, declaring Biffy Clyro’s original Many Of Horror to be far more “real” than the version by the bloke who won the X Factor…


Bring on the Dancing Horses

Thanks Gog.  I said before in my email any mention of the Clayderman is fine around my house.  My mum adores him.  Next week I’m told JC will be gracing these pages.  If you want to pick a song, any song, write it and send it to the usual address.

WYCRAS Best 50 Second Albums – Number 37


Celebration Rock – Japandroids (2012) – Chosen by SWC

Younger Us

Every now and again one of those albums come along.  An album that is talked about in whispered conversations in secret corridors with people who give you a knowing look.  An album that’s brilliance is known and protected.  An album whose glorious racket you hold dear.  An album that at the end of year those of you who know about it say without pausing that its the ‘Album of the Year’ and then instantly regret because the secret will be out and other people will join that band of folk holding whispered conversations in secret corridors whilst you cradle your album.  Lovingly like a kitten abandoned by its mother.

Folks ‘Celebration Rock’ is one of those records.  The musical equivalent of a Golden Ticket to the Wonka Chocolate Factory.  It has everything.  Every track is an anthem, every second is precious, it’s a breathless, astonishing, wonderful, ambitious record.

Like all truly brilliant records its short, just under 35 minutes long, but the impact it has is incredible.  I find it hard to describe the impact of the songs, they kind of punch you, then kind of pulsate through you.  Put it this way, when I first listened to this record, the songs dominated me.  I hummed then, I sang them, they played over and over in my head until they were there forever.

For The Love of Ivy

Evil’s Sway

The music switches between punk, rock and rockabilly effortlessly.  The first of the two tracks I have posted above is vicious, the lyrics are spat out with venom and froth.  The second one is a spirited fiery balls out punk affair.  Each song sung as if the singer is taken his last ever breaths.

Utterly essential.