Tuesday 30 July 2013

Los Porcos

A new song, 'C.F.W.', was quietly uploaded to Los Porcos's Soundcloud page a few days ago, the third since Famy's Bruce Yates replaced departed vocalist Ellery Roberts and the band's name was amended from Wu Lyf. Fine though it is, for me, the pick of their three available tunes is 'Jesus Luvs U Baby'. Insistent and subtly funky.

Saturday 27 July 2013

Kiran Leonard

'Dear Lincoln' was written and recorded by Kiran Leonard in June 2010 (when he was just 14 years of age!) and has been knocking about the internet for a while, though it's now going to receive an official release for the first time. He has a lot of music available to check-out via Bandcamp and Soundcloud including an incredibly ambitious 24 minute prog epic, 'The End Times', but with 'Dear Lincoln' he says all he wants to say in 112 thrilling seconds.

Tuesday 23 July 2013


Here's another shimmering psych-pop treat from Kettering's finest export, Temples. 'Colours to Life' continues the fine tradition of the band's earlier tuneage, 'Shelter Song' and 'Prisms' - well recommended listens if you've not already bumped into them.

Thursday 18 July 2013

Flip It! #2 - David Essex

The first three CBS released David Essex singles in 1973 and 1974, 'Rock On', 'Lamplight' and the often overlooked 'America', were exotic little pop oddities that retain their quirky appeal today. Flip these singles over and you'll find 'On and On' (a theatrical power ballad), 'We All Insane' (a bass-driven curio with nonsense lyrics, a drum solo and an unexpectedly sudden conclusion) and, best of all, 'Dance Little Girl'.

Once again driven by it's bassline, 'Dance Little Girl' is a strangely unsettling amalgam of stabbing strings, sleazy horns and a fairly peculiar, multi-layered, at times deliberately off-kilter vocal from Mr Essex himself. Loved it then, love it still.

Monday 15 July 2013

Version City #12 - David McComb sings Leonard Cohen

The late great David McComb of The Triffids was clearly an admirer of Leonard Cohen, particularly, it seems, of laughing Len's least loved LP, 'Death of a Ladies Man'. First McComb (with Adam Peters) covered 'Don't Go Home with Your Hard-On' for the 1991 tribute album 'I'm Your Fan', then two years later, in cahoots with The Blackeyed Susans, he delivered this sparkling reading of 'Memories'.

Previous visits to Version City.

Wednesday 10 July 2013


American comedian Steven Wright is the man responsible for my all-time favourite paraprosdokian, 'I went into a general store, but they wouldn't let me buy anything specific'. Genius. He's also the voice behind this sublime moment from Reservoir Dogs.

Wright's use of the word 'behemoth' came to my mind yesterday evening, when I happened to catch the last few minutes of Steve Lamacq's BBC 6Music radio programme, where, as his final selection of the show, Lamacq played 'Hocus Pocus' by deathrowradio, a mighty behemoth of a tune if there ever was one.

Chris Tate and Paul Christian Patterson have been making music together as d_rradio for several years, creating experimental sounds of a slightly more ambient persuasion, plus a very nice folk-tinged EP in collaboration with Lianne Hall. Now, having amended their working name to deathrowradio, they've traded their laptops for guitars on their new album 'Yummy', a bracing sonic assault of subtly shifting psych-inspired riffage.

Get a load of this glorious racket and then check out the whole darned thing here.

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Flying Saucers Have Landed

Pole Hill, a section of Epping Forest in Chingford, was a regular haunt for me and my pals in 1972 and '73. The reason? Uninterrupted views across two massive reservoirs, long-rumoured locally to be a centre of heavy UFO activity - the Area 51 of North East London if you will. With our imaginations fuelled by too much Star Trek and Erich von Däniken, we would head off on a Saturday morning and spend hours sitting on the grass, cameras in hand, gazing out through our binoculars, waiting for....something, anything to happen. Funnily enough, we never did see any little green men, but I'm pleased to note that all these years later, the rumours of their existence in the area persist.

The soundtrack to our Pole Hill excursions and to our fevered discussions about every new titbit of UFO-related gossip, was 'Flying Saucers Have Landed', a groovy single by Paul St. John, released in 1972, but even then sounding more late 60's than early 70's.

Saturday 6 July 2013

Saturday Scratch #27 - Candy McKenzie

If you ever find yourself down Camden Lock way on a hot, sticky afternoon and in need of cool refreshment, I can heartily recommend a visit to Chin Chin Labs, a shop where white coated boffins use liquid nitrogen, to dramatic effect, in order to create incredible ice cream before your very eyes. Delish.

Here's Full Experience member Candy McKenzie, with an appropriate tune taken from the LP 'Lee Scratch Perry Presents Candy McKenzie', recorded at the Black Ark in 1977, though not released until 2011.

Previously on Saturday Scratch

Wednesday 3 July 2013


We're off to the smoke for a couple of days to catch up with the visiting New York contingent of the family, where we'll be swapping the veritable cacophony of birdsong that currently forms the soundtrack of our lives here, for the more general cacophony that is London.

A recently arrived and very welcome visitor to these parts is a lone Nightingale who has taken up residence in the tree across the lane, from where he flits back and forth to our chimney, charming all and sundry with his astounding range of whistles and trills. Bit of a show-off really.

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