Tuesday 23 February 2021

TV Orphans

In March 1977, a couple of weeks after the release of their self-titled debut LP, Ultravox! (with the all important !) supported Eddie & the Hot Rods at The Rainbow in London. The gig was filmed and promptly forgotten about, presumed lost forever. But now, nearly 44 years later, the video of that thrilling set has been unearthed and is being drip fed to us via the band's YouTube channel, with an official release in the offing later this year. As I type, we are 4 songs in and it's an almost unbearably exciting ride for this old John Foxx era fan. To my eternal regret, I never did get to see Ultravox! in concert, so this footage is as close as I'm ever going to get - and it's phenomenal. Here's the otherwise unavailable 'TV Orphans'.

Wednesday 17 February 2021

Unknown Journey

I think we can all agree that 2020 was a horrible year and that, thus far at least, 2021 isn't turning out to be too clever either. So why not join me on an unknown journey, back to 1984. Swedish combo The Wayward Souls were only around for three years in total, though in that time they delivered three full length albums and three stand alone singles. They came, they recorded a bunch of psych-infused tunes and then they were gone. Here's their cracking debut 45.

The Wayward Souls - Unknown Journey

Monday 15 February 2021

Monday Long Song

American composer and keyboardist Chick Corea passed away last Tuesday. If he'd done nothing else in his 79 years but be a part of the transitional recordings made by Miles Davis between 1968 and 1972, his jazz immortality would've been assured. As it was, he was also a prolific and in demand sideman (for the likes of Stanley Clarke, Herbie Mann & Wayne Shorter), lead the avant-garde band Circle and fusion outfit Return to Forever and additionally released around 100 albums under his own name for labels such as Blue Note, ECM, Concord, Deutsche Grammophon, Polydor and GRP. A busy musical life, well lived. 

Return to Forever - Song to the Pharaoh Kings

Monday 8 February 2021

Monday Long Song

One of several already booked 2020 concerts I lost as a result of the pandemic was Laura Cannell's Modern Ritual XIII, which was scheduled to take place last July, just round the corner from King's Cross station in London. I've been lucky enough to see Laura play several times over the years, most recently in 2019, at the 12th of her Modern Ritual series, in a small 16th century chapel, hidden deep in the Suffolk countryside. 

Laura kept herself busy last year, releasing the haunting 'The Earth With Her Crowns' in the summer and 'These Feral Lands Volume 1' in November. The latter features guest performances by cellist Kate Ellis, broadcaster Jennifer Lucy Allan and the terrific local writer/performer Polly Wright. Another name heavily involved on the album is the comedian Stewart Lee, who was also slated to appear at that cancelled Modern Ritual gig in London. Lee's contributions to 'These Feral Lands' are a revelation and even if  this style of music isn't generally your thing, you should make it your business to at least check out 'Black Shuck', where he summons his inner Mark E Smith and Captain Beefheart to startling effect. 

Here though is another tune from 'These Feral Lands', featuring Stewart Lee, Laura Cannell and Kate Ellis. 'Wrekin' delves deep into ancient Shropshire folklore, albeit with unexpected appearances by Kendo Nagasaki and Tony McPhee. 

Laura Cannell, Stewart Lee & Kate Ellis - Wrekin

Monday 1 February 2021

Monday Long Song

One way and another, the tail end of last year was hectic time for your humble author, so it's no surprise I suppose that I managed to completely miss a couple of otherwise essential additions to The Swede's personal house of wax. One I've managed to pick up, but the other I missed the boat on, so it's over to Discogs and eBay I go to track that particular beauty down. The LP I did acquire, later rather than sooner, was 'Twelve of Hearts' by long time favourite of this parish Richard Youngs, in cahoots with Daniel O'Sullivan, released on the OGenesis label in December. I'll come back to that in due course. Today's tune is another to feature the always prolific Mr Youngs, this time in his guise as one quarter of AMOR. I ordered their new LP (a joint creation with LEMUR) way back in November and I'm reliably informed that it's winging its way towards as I type. Fortunately, the complementary download is already safely ensconced on my hard-drive and, swipe me, it's flippin' magnificent. 

There are only 500 copies out there, so if you're tickled, don't shilly-shally. (Here)


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