Monday, 27 February 2017

Can't You Feel it




This cracking two minutes of soul from Jean Wells is not a bad way to start off the working week. Can't You Feel It was the flip side to Sit Down and Cry and for me is a superior track to the plug side. It was released on Calla in 1968.

Enjoy.

Jean Wells - Can't You Feel It

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Don't Think Twice



As mentioned before CC over at Charity Chic Music had a recent series of excellent post pitching Bob Dylan's originals against other people's interpretations.If you haven't you really should go and check out the results. The other week I remembered a rather fine version of one of my favourite Dylan songs by John Martyn. Don't Think Twice was included on Martyn's first album London Conversation, one which I don't return to very often as it's a bit too woolly jumper folkie for me although his acoustic guitar picking is rather excellent. Don't Think Twice It's Alright is the best track on the album by a mile for me.

John Martyn - Don't Think Twice It's Alright

Friday, 24 February 2017

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance



Here is a bit of  drum and bass from 1995. Alex Reese first came to attention with his releases on Metalheadz and and Moving Shadow but this is my favourite from when he moved labels to Island Records. Feel The Sunshine came out at the tail end of 1995 and was one of the tracks that brought D&B to a wider audience. I love the way the horn stabs sort of filter in all the way through, it may be a repetitive beat but it certainly isn't a boring one. I just never could fathom how you danced to this type of stuff so for me it was definitely listening music.

Airdrie got scudded four nil by Livingstone last week, granted they were playing against a superior team who set out their stall early on and did not deviate from it. This will sound like sour grapes but it makes it no less true, it was the most inept performance from a referee I have seen since Andrew Dallas last paraded his wares at the Excelsior. Anyway we are away to Alloa this week who are two points ahead of us in second spot and I fear that we could fall a few places in the table if we get beaten on Saturday and results elsewhere go against us. If your listening Luke we could do with some of that Force at the moment. Incidentally the club raised £1000 from the auction of the Skywalker signed shirt.

Have a good weekend people.

Alex Reece - Feel The Sunshine

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Only An Excuse



Apparently in these times of fake news and Donald J Trumpf, demand has outstripped supply of Orwell's classic, 1984 which gives me a reason to feature this track from Johnny Cooke's criminally overlooked band, Dog. The track is taken from the band's second album Tall Stories From Under The Table released in 2007 and ignored by almost everyone.

"Until they become conscious they will never rebel and until after they have rebelled they will never become conscious"

Dogs - Winston Smith

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

In Praise of Moe



I don't think a week goes by when I haven't listened to at least half a dozen Velvet Underground tracks. Over the last while they have mostly come from the third album, the Matrix Tapes box set or some of the better quality bootlegs but sometimes I will revisit the banana album which used to be my favourite and at other times I just want to hear something a bit more brutal so I will stick on White Light White Heat,  in particular Sister Ray or I Heard Her Call My Name. I never really reach for Loaded, the final lp, their only album released on Atlantic. A lot of people cite this as their favourite Velvets album but I have never really warmed to it. There are a few great tracks on there but if I want to listen to Sweet Jane, I tend to head for the Lone Justice version or maybe the Cowboy Junkies one or if in a melancholic mood I will seek out Cat Power's version of I Found a Reason. The versions of Rock and Roll and New Age that do it for me are the live versions from the aforementioned Matrix recordings.

The upshot of this is that I am not overly familiar with the album, so much so that when "Oh! Sweet Nuthin' " the final track from Loaded came on the mp3 player last week it took me about thirty seconds or so to recognise the song but then found my self engrossed in it so much so that I played it threee times on the bounce, not because it is a very good song, which it is but because of just how different it is to the Velvet Underground that I love. None of the noise, the coolness or downright detached coldness of some of the earlier stuff is apparent here. There is a southern, country rock feel to the track to these ears but the most striking thing is the drumming. Yes I know that Moe Tucker wasn't around for this album as she was having a child, but it is quite startling how obviously different it is and I'm pretty sure the track would sound markedly different had she been around. Which begs the question would the previous albums have sounded the same without Moe? Of course they wouldn't have and I think that they would have been all the worse for it. I think that we all owe Moe Tucker a great debt of gratitude as I think that she is sometimes overlooked when considering the Velvet Underground.

Velvet Underground - Oh! Sweet Nuthin'

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Monkey Man



Not the song by Toots and The Maytals covered by the likes of the Specials and Amy Winehouse but a garage/soul hybrid from 1965 by Baby Huey and The Babysitters. Monkey Man was the second single by the group and was released on the St Lawrence label. Huey or James Ramey is probably best known for his output on Curtis Mayfield's Curtom label, especially Hard Times (which has featured here in the past) before his premature death at the age of 26 in 1970 from heart failure.

Baby Huey & The Babysitters - Monkey Man

Monday, 20 February 2017

After The Rain



This is a classy piece of mid tempo soul beautifully sung by the ever dependable Kim Weston. Why this woman was not a huge star I will never understand. Well we know why Diana Ross was favoured over Weston by Gordy but she should still have been better known. This song comes from the second volume of A Cellar Full Of Motown which surpasses the first for quality never released finds from the vaults but I think that all four volumes are well worth investing in.

Kim Weston - After The Rain 

Friday, 17 February 2017

it's Friday . . . Let's Dance



Sometimes to lift the spirits it is necessary to play something loud, brash and not cerebral in the the least. I always tend to reach for the first Fatboy Slim album, Better Living Through Chemistry in these circumstances and the very slim and almost skeletal these days Norman Cook never fails to lift the spirits and have me waving my arms about like a right dafty. I don't think there is a bad track on the album, my favourite is The Sound of Milwaukee but that has been featured here before so here is a breakbeat and siren laden tune for you.

Airdrie are still sitting 2nd in the league much to all of our surprise, not sure if we are channelling The Force or what but we will need to dig deep and maybe get the aid of Yoda as well as Luke to get anything from tomorrow's game against Livingston, the league leaders by some distance but stranger things have happened,  like getting Mark Hamill to sign probably the best looking football top in the world. You can bid for the top here if you're flush or just read the information below to get the full story.

Celebrity fans, pfff. we have a Jedi!

Have a good weekend people.


Fatboy Slim - 10th and Crenshaw 

Thursday, 16 February 2017

More Soul Than Wigan Casino



No, not really, well maybe from all accounts in the dark days near the end from what I've read but not the glory years.

What do you get when you get four indie bands in the mid noughties to cover a soul song each of their choice? Apart from a record that if any purists were to stumble across it, would probably induce apoplexy, a mixed bag really. The four bands in question were Kicker, The Butterflies of Love , Airport Girl and Comet Gain.

As you will probably guess I bought the record on the strength of the last band and their take on the Dena Barnes recorded If You Ever Walk Out of My Life is okay even though it sounds like it was recorded in someone's toilet and they decided to re-write most of the lyrics.

The Butterflies of Love's rendition of Two Lovers, the Smokey Robinson written and Mary Wells performed ballad is pretty good but again not a patch on the original.

The biggest disappointment is from a band that I really rate however Airport Girl turn the Benny Spelman/O'Jays classic into a virtually unlistenable dirge. I'm not sure wther this is supposed to be a tongue in cheek version or if they were deadly serious whichever it is,  it is good at all.

By far the best track on the ep by far is Kicker's go at covering Since You Left, originally released by the Inciters in 1965. It is not radically different but has that sort of mid 80s Red Wedge/ Big Sound Authority feel about it and makes the ep worth seeking out.

Compare and contrast

Kicker - Since You Left






Wednesday, 15 February 2017

When The Night Falls




This rather groovy track is evidence that the Americans weren't the only ones that could produce classic garage/psych tunes during the mid 60s. The Eyes were a British outfit around from 1964 to early 67. When The Night Falls was the band's first single released in 1965 on the Mercury label and although it was released on a major label the record failed to grab the attention of the record buying public and so is a pretty rare piece of vinyl these days. The band went on to release a further four singles none of which fared any better. The band had a song called My Degeneration  and when I first heard When The Night Falls I thought that the sound owed more than a little to Pete Townsend.

The Eyes - When The Night Falls

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Happy Valentine's Day



It would be easy to be snidey about Valentine's Day, as it is predicated on getting us to spend money that we really don't have in a gratuitous expression of how much you love someone,  and post something like Valentine's Day Is Over. But there are just too many great love songs out there to miss another opportunity to feature some more. So here is a brace of quality soul songs extolling the joy of love and loving.

Happy Valentine's Day doll.

Tommy Hunt - Lover

Gladys Knight and the Pips - Everyday I'll Love You More Than Yesterday


Monday, 13 February 2017

Misty Blue



I must have played this record over twenty times this weekend but still can't get it out of my head. I'm not really that bothered to tell you the truth, there are a lot worse songs that could be lodged in there. It is an absolutely gorgeous song but I still can't quite get to grips with the fact that it was released in 1975, I always think of it as coming from the previous decade.

Dorothy Moore - Misty Blue

Friday, 10 February 2017

We Will Win



SA and CC have been featuring some protest songs this week and I thought that I would post something with a bit of positivity. On the way to the football the other week, Stiff and I were discussing all the shit that is going on, it's not all about if Scott Stewart is in the team or who the latest person we have signed is. oh no,  and we agreed that we were sick of being on the losing side all the time.

Have a good weekend people.

One day, possibly . . .

Working Week - Venceremos (We Will Win) Jazz Dance Special 12" mix

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Strength



Enough of the 60s, for now anyway and let's whizz forward thirty two years to some indie pop that does kind of hark back to the best bits of the 60s with the brass, driving beat and harmonies

I love a bit of Comet Gain.

Comet Gain - Strength