Thursday, 25 November 2010

Friday, 5 November 2010

Annie Hogan Plays "Kickabye"

Annie Hogan will be known to many as Marc Almond's musical foil, co-writer, pianist and arranger on some of his best work from the mid - late 1980's. Whilst her work in Almond's ensembles the Mambas, the Willing Sinners and La Magia is somewhat more well documented, it's less well known that she has also collaborated with a host of 80's underground luminaries including Simon Fisher Turner, Nick Cave, Barry Adamson, Lydia Lunch and Sex Gang Children to name but a few. In addition to this she was also a celebrated dj at the legendary Batcave.

"Kickabye", a 12"ep released in 1985 was the first of her infrequent solo outings and features Nick Cave and Marc Almond on guest vocals and Jim "Foetus" Thirlwell on production duties. "Vixo" features one of Cave's most compelling lyrics from this period and was reputed to be recorded around the time that Hogan contributed to backing tapes for the notorious Cave/Almond/Lunch/Foetus live collaboration the Immaculate Consumptive. Musically it comes across as a slightly more orchestrated outtake from "Mutiny", capturing Cave at a crossroads in his early career, caught between the demise of the Birthday Party and the gradual creation of the Bad Seeds. "Burning Boats" features Almond in his Raoul Revere guise, a torrid trauma that wouldn't have been out of place on "Torment and Toreros". "Just Like Drowning Kittens", a low-key Brechtian bluesy shuffle, and the deep red velvet lament of "Executioner's Song" showcase Ms. Hogan's prowess as a singer and lyricist of undeniable power and sensitivity. "Marat", a moody Satie-esque instrumental completes the set.

This EP has now been re-issued on CD with many other recordings from the same period and is well worth seeking out, especially if you have an appreciation of Annie's more acclaimed contemporaries of the 80's underground milieu.


Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Eva Lake

More here.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Owning Up

Jazz singer, Surrealist, writer, critic and arch raconteur George Melly onstage in 1960.
I'm currently revisiting his hugely entertaining memoirs "Rum, Bum and Concertina" and "Owning Up".

Friday, 17 September 2010

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Hermine - "Lonely At The Top"

Hermine's brand of languid torch songs and avant-garde cabaret may be something of an acquired taste, but regular readers of this blog will note my devotion to her cause. This, her second album was released in 1984 and has a more experimental and unhinged feel than her earlier recordings. Featuring beautifully fractured versions of songs by artists as disparate as Neil Sedaka, Nina Simone and Yoko Ono alongside inspired originals, this is her finest hour.


By way of a postcript, Hermine appears in one of John Maybury's first films, from 1982, "Court Of Miracles". Her co-star is a certain Siouxsie Sioux. Apart from the briefest smattering of information on the world wide web and the below snippet from the June 1982 issue of The Face I know very little of this intriguing project. Has anyone ever seen it? Any further information, stills etc. will be gratefully received....

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Cold (Wave) Spell Ahead

Midsummer. Hasn't rained for weeks. Sun beating down endlessly. Call me a spoilsport, but at this time of year I'm to be found indoors with the curtains firmly closed and a bottle of gin close at hand. And what better soundtrack to while away the long sultry days until Autumn starts to trespass into view than this little collection that I've compiled especially for this languid season - over two hours of my favourite French Cold Wave and Minimal Wave tracks.

Cold Folder

Monday, 5 July 2010

Vic Godard & Subway Sect - "20 Odd Years"

Probably the definitive compilation of the singing postman's work released thus far (though my only qualm is that it doesn't include the blistering "Don't Split It") this two disc career spanning (albeit to the end of the 20th century) compendium is an essential item for all disciples of Old Vic and has been out of print for some years now. The Sect's assault and battery on "Sister Ray" (with the Slits and The Prefects in tow) live from the California Ballroom, Dunstable (30th May 1977) has to heard to be believed. Enjoy.

Disc One

Disc Two
Scans from the January 1982 issue of The Face.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Quint – “Time Wounds All Heals”

The short lived Quint were Sally Young’s project after spending 10-12 years as singer/multi instrumentalist with trailblazing female No-Wave trio Ut (a band whose multi-faceted sound still remains frighteningly ahead of its time in my opinion).

Based in London in the mid – late 1990’s, Quint were a slightly more melodic and accessible proposition marrying Ms. Young’s bittersweet noir-ish vocal phrasings with a sound vaguely suggesting an early Tindersticks backing PJ Harvey (whilst still exploring atmospheres that Ut hinted at on their later material). Featured on second guitar and trumpet is Ian R. Watson, a member of both Gallon Drunk (briefly) and Terry Edwards’ Scapegoats. In equal parts broodingly atmospheric, hauntingly wistful and jaggedly jarring, this album was sadly Quint’s final statement and is something of a (very) forgotten classic. The band also issued a single “Blueprint to a Blackout”. A very old page on the band can be found here, and an incredibly informative interview with all three members of Ut can be found here.


Coincidentally, another ex- Ut member, Jacqui Ham will be appearing with her current project Dial at the Luminaire in London on Thursday 1st July.

N.B: If anyone happens to be visiting this post looking for Quint's excellent debut 7", "Blueprint To A Blackout", I recently discovered that it is still available to order from Southern Records here

Monday, 31 May 2010

The Nightingales - "What A Carry On"

From 1985, this 12"EP is a mixed bag, capturing the 'gales between the Beefheartian twin-guitar dynamics of their excellent "Hysterics" album and the more country tinged atmosphere of their final mid-80's incarnation. Highlights are the seven minute stream of conciousness ramble "Comfort and Joy" and "First My Job", a plaintive ode to urban paranoia.
Also included is the free flexidisc that came with the E.P containing versions of "Heroin" and "How To Age" culled from their 3rd March 1985 John Peel session.

Carry On

The band are still very much active after reforming in 2004 (after a hiatus of a decade or more) and remain as compelling as ever. I've had the pleasure of seeing them twice over the last year and they've been by and large superb. They'll next be treading the boards on the 8th July at Water Rats in London and the 9th July at the Bodega in Nottingham.

Live at the Old Bell Hotel, Derby, 12th February 2010.

Saturday, 15 May 2010


From 'Films and Filming', August 1969

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Felt - Sunlight Bathed The Golden Glow

More often than not, if you spy this absolute classic masterpiece on the 'blogosphere' these days, it's actually the shorter version of the song which is taken from "The Strange Idols Pattern" album. This has prompted me to rip this, the original single version, complete with ornate string section and female backing vocals (which possibly detract from the song's simple pop majesty depending on your opinion). For good measure, I've also included the B- sides of the single (including the shimmering instrumental take, "Sunlight Strings") and every other version I have of the song (album version, two demo versions and a live one). Viva Lawrence. And Maurice Deebank.


Friday, 26 March 2010

The Jesus And Mary Chain / Primal Scream, Nottingham Rock City, 26th June 1985

Serving as a footnote to my earlier run of Mary Chain related posts, by the time of this appearance in my hometown the headlining act had increased the duration of their set from 20 to 30 minutes without losing any of their blitzkrieg sonic abrasion whatsoever. Also included is Primal Scream's even briefer support slot (Bobby G. being a busy fellow that night). Decent quality audience recording. The Primal Scream set is slightly marred in a brief segment by some rather neanderthal audience banter, but that shouldn't spoil your enjoyment too much.

J.A.M.C : In A Hole / Inside Me / Taste Of Cindy / Just Out Of Reach / You Trip Me Up / Taste The Floor / The Living End / Just Like Honey / Never Understand / Jesus Suck

Primal Scream : Imperial / Bewitched And Bewildered / Sometimes I Never / Leaves / All Fall Down / Crystal Crescent

N.B: This was taped by a friend of a friend of mine so it's highly unlikely that this is available elsewhere at this moment in time....

Thursday, 18 March 2010

The Moodists - "Two Fisted Art"

Time to post some more music, I think. However, at the moment I can't particularly be bothered to write some expansive blurb about, for instance, how great The Moodists are...This is the essential two disc compilation that appeared in Australia around 2003 (and, as far as I know the only Moodists CD that has ever been available). It's pretty much out of print now and currently goes for silly money on Amazon. Everybody needs The Moodists in their life.

Disc One (Studio)
Disc Two (Live)

Sunday, 31 January 2010


"Autumn". Photograph by Laszlo Lajas. Taken from the Photography Yearbook 1980.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Your Turn To Run

Malaria!, Berlin 1982. Taken from the July 1982 issue of The Face.
(Photo: Ian McKell)

Monday, 11 January 2010

Halliwell collage

A collage by Joe Orton's lover and partner in crime Kenneth Halliwell. Do any others exist? If they do I suspect that they're probably in the realm of private collectors. Still, some more images would be nice....