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Saturday, 30 October 2010

Griff says; Something Wicked This Way Comes

Earlier on this month I admitted that October finds me "drawn a little to darker music...laced with an undercurrent of death, decadence and, dare I say it, sex." I then went on to promise you "a wee drop of the harder stuff" in time for Hallowe'en. Well, I like to keep my promises and tonight I've got an extraordinary d-i-y, lo-fi, renaissance woman who is a musician, video-maker, photographer and visual artist all wrapped up in one provocative package.
I'm referring to Sophie Nadaud of La Seyne sur Mer, France who records, blogs and makes videos under the name of 'Madame B'. Sophie describes her music as;
"Instinctive and emotional D.I.Y music recorded at home using bass, guitar, keyboard, beat box DR110, banjo, ukelele and everything I can find around."

Don't be fooled by the banjo and ukulele reference into thinking this is more of Griff's indie-folk shenanigans. No, this is doomed, Gothy, post-punk weirdness with attention grabbing titles such as; Raped by Bitterness Fuck Off, Dead Bitch and (ahem) Fingerinme. So, no twee, gentle insubstantiality in that lot, I think you'll agree! Personally I can hear a bit of Lydia Lunch and early Siouxsie and the Banshees in Sophie's music. Those of you who enjoyed Gordon's recent Rosa Yemen tribute may perhaps also see some similarity to Lizzy Mercier-Descloux.
I came across Madame B on and was immediately hooked by the first song I heard, which was the provocative 'I'm Sorry That I Hate You'.

I'm sorry that I hate you by Madame B

I do like that song very much indeed but I must admit I would love to hear it with a live drummer. The Madame B page is well worth a visit as all of the songs featured on there, and there are scores of tracks off half a dozen albums, are available as free MP3 downloads. There is also a Madame B Youtube page and this is where Sophie's art really comes into its own; with the fusion of her own fierce, experimental music and vampish visual imagery. Below are a few of my favourites videos from that site but there are many more which are well worth a look during the dark winter months.


Thursday, 28 October 2010

Griff says; Boo! It's mkf!

Hopefully, you'll remember my previous blog about ukulele pop cutie mkf, otherwise known as Maria Kristie Fabila (pictured). At that time we previewed her sweet and spooky little song 'swooky', which was a real Streetlamp favourite, and informed you that it was "the first track of an EP to be made fully public in October of this year". Well guess what, boys and girls? The full 7 track album is now up and available for listening/downloading here on bandcamp. The album, also called 'swooky', is that rarest of beasts; an indie-pop concept album, the concept being ghosts, and is perfect Hallowe'en listening. The album features tracks with titles such as 'just one spook' and 'no body nobody' as well as Maria's own unique and magnificent take on the old Patsy Cline standard 'Walking After Midnight'.

This being mkf we also have to bring you the obligatory 'clever little video'. In this one a multi-tracked Maria covers The Lovin' Spoonful's 'Summer in the City'. Yeah, we know that it's October in Scotland and that there's currently snow on the hills, but you'll have to take Maria's word for it that in California it's "really hot". Now, throw another log on the fire, close your eyes and pretend.


Tuesday, 26 October 2010

~This Elegant Chaos~#6:'Dinah & The Beautiful Blue'

So this one is a bit of a departure. It's not quite trebley guitars, twee vocals and a sunny yet romantically doomed disposition. No, this ones a bit more ambient, a bit more orchestral, dare one even say it.....a bit more 'classy'.
So, now that we know we're not in ~Kitten Wine~ territory, let's try to put this into some kind of perspective because, even though this doesn't really follow the ~Streetlamp~ blueprint, it does cover a guilty pleasure much enjoyed by all here at the Streetlamp HQ.
Let's take a closer look.....

About eight years ago Griff and I, completely independently of each other, stumbled upon a radio show called 'Late Junction'. What was odd about this is that Late Junction is broadcast on Radio 3....yep, THAT Radio 3....the BBC Radio 3. Now, as veterans of the Punk/Indie/Twee revolution, the idea of listening to pompous, lemon-sucking, head-up-it's-own-arse Radio 3 was quite abhorrent. But there...around 11:15p.m most weekday nights was an oasis of musical splendour; a mix of lo-fi pop, light classical, world music, ambient soundscapes, modern jazz, folk, chansonnier songs, Math Rock(Rodan, Slint etc) and the odd tracks by Sonic Youth, Daniel Johnston, Jim O'Rourke, Le Tigre etc.....I'm sure you get the picture.
This allowed us to hear music away from the stuff we usually listened to. Plus the overall texture of the show coupled with the late night feel made it a very ambient, intoxicating experience.
In fact, I'd wager that if Proust or Rimbaud were alive today, this would be top of their listening agenda.

And it was on this show that I stumbled upon the wondrous track that I have come here to discuss tonight. A track called 'Dinah And The Beautiful Blue' by Thomas Feiner & Anywhen. This song is almost unspeakably beautiful, an aching, ambient, hallucinatory joy that moves at such a somnambulent pace that it becomes a sensory overload. Every movement within the song seems to bruise the heart and numb the senses(in the most dreamy way)....not for nothing is this song taken from an album called 'The Opiates'.
Think of Tom Waits deciding to make an ambient track, or David Sylvian scoring the soundtrack to your favourite childhood daydream.....or if you are a Scott Walker fan, imagine if he really made that album you've always hoped he'd make and not that unlistenable 'difficult' art-music he makes now.
It's almost impossible for me to describe just how magical and life-affirming this song totally changes my mind-set and perception of time, space and memory.
It makes me become like Proust, or Rimbaud, or Baudelaire, or Huysmans, or any of those namby-pamby pantywaists, draping myself over the chaise lounge in my velvet dressing gown, the scent of lavender in the air, heavily perfumed Chateau Margaux in hand, longing for the goodnight kiss from Mamma....

Oh yeah, music can do funny things to pretentious buffoon!

This is easily one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have heard in a long time, and I urge you to listen to it all the way through and not to give up on it because of it's slow pace....allow it to seep into you!
And I hope it acts as a good advert for the fantastic Late Junction show which we here at the Streetlamp cannot recommend highly enough.


"If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less but to dream more, to dream all the time" Marcel Proust

Sunday, 24 October 2010

~Kitten Wine~#21: Flexitown Revisited

Back in May, in what became ~Kitten Wine~#7:'60 Minutes in The Anorak City', I wrote about a mix-tape that has been a constant companion of mine over the last 22 years. In listing the songs and enthusing about them I was lucky to find video clips to accompany most of the songs. However there were about 5 songs that I could find nothing for at all. All from flexi-discs released in the Spring of 1988. In fact for four of them I could find scant info on the Internet at all....just nothing. So....
A few weeks ago on a beautiful Autumn's afternoon Griff, Ray and myself convened at the Streetlamp HQ and set about putting this to rights, and so we made MP3 copies of the original tracks and then Ray created videos for them. So here we have it....a chance to finally enthuse properly about these fantastic songs and at last share them with people who, unless you bought the fanzines these Flexidiscs came with at the time, will never have heard them.

Let's do it....

We begin with 'Anorak City' by Another Sunny Day. Now this Flexidisc is numbered Sarah 3, and came with a fanzine entitled Sarah 4. I'm sure you've probably figured out that these were the third and fourth releases on Sarah Records. The cover of the fanzine announces that both fanzine and flexi can be purchased for a whopping 50p. The fact that this fanzine and flexi combo now commands over £100(if Record Collector magazine is to be believed!) is staggering.
I've already declared my love for this song profoundly enough in ~KW~#7, so I'll share with you what Matt and Claire of Sarah say about the records inside the pages of the accompanying fanzine: "Anorak City plays at 45r.p.m because that's POPmusic speed, ALBUMS play at just 5 and 3/4 inches across and the thinnest plastic ever because it's only POPmusic, flimsy, throwaway stuff....crackles and fizzes and POPs because it contains such things as ENERGY, COLOUR, called 'Anorak City' because some people are incredibly stupid". Sentiments we all agree with.
I LOVE this song and I hope that you enjoy both it and the video Ray has created to accompany it....

The next tracks are by The Magic Shop and The Visitors and are on a Flexidisc released on Sha-la-la Records. Unfortunately I've long since lost the fanzine it came with, but thankfully not the record....although I'm sure there are many people out there who have either lost both, or made the record unplayable and kept the fanzine in mint condition!
'It's True' by The Magic Shop is a splendid little ditty that chings along all trebley guitars and wobbly Farfisa organ. When we were converting this track, Griff couldn't stop smiling at the singers vocals as it sounds as though his voice is in the process of breaking as he sings, or that the song is in too high a register for him. It's a cracking wee song though and really buzzes with youthful naivety and exuberance...

Naivety and exuberance are hardly to the fore on 'Goldmining' by The Visitors however. This is quite a bitter, downbeat little track that seems to find it's creator raging hard against marriage.I'm not quite sure exactly what the overall point of his bitterness is, but in a literal reading of the lyrics it sounds like he(or someone) has married their childhood sweetheart only for the marriage to end amid boredom and infidelity. I hope the singer isn't speaking from experience. The song doesn't sit well amongst all the sweetness and frivolity of Sarah Records and their compatriots, but that's one of the reasons I love it so much, and why we're bringing it to you here for the first time anywhere....

Next up is another Flexidisc from Sha-la-la only this time showcasing two bands from the Sombrero Records roster. Sombrero actually only had three bands, all with rubbish names, all wonderful; The Siddeleys, Reserve and Bob. All three bands, it's safe to say, were indebted to The Smiths....The Siddeleys were often compared to The Smiths and vocalist
Johnny Johnson(a girl by the way) was often hailed as the female Morrissey. Bob once had a song that mentioned 'Slow Hand Johnny and Steven P M', and Reserve couldn't sound more influenced by The Smiths if they tried! We intend to cover Bob in a full Blog sometime in the near future, but today let's concentrate on The Siddeleys and Reserve.
'Wherever You Go' by The Siddeleys is just fantastic, a jaunty, jangly little whizzbang of a song that, nowadays, would be said to be about obsessive love, but really it's just about love and infatuation. That's the problem with growing old and cynical, you forget the electric shock rush you used to feel when the girl of your dreams walked by that now you view these self same feelings in others as unhealthy and obsessive. But this song is not dark in any way, it bursts with joyful declarations of undying love that only seem to come from the young and the naive. Leave your cynicism at the door and wallow in the headrush fireworks of young romance....

And so we finish off with 'The Sun Slid Down Behind The Tower' by Reserve. It seems apt to finish with this as this is the track I used to finish the mix-tape. I'm always a sucker for songs about Summer nights and the romance of sunsets and that's exactly what this song conveys to me. As I said above this is a band that maybe listened a little too closely to The Smiths; the janglesome guitars, the vocal pitched just a little too low and morose sounding. But it all works beautifully and if ever a track captured that end-of-a-golden-Summer feel it's this one. I feel that Ray has created one of his best videos to accompany this track, which is only fitting.

It feels such a privilege to able to bring these long lost songs to you, especially as they have meant so much to me over the last couple of decades.
Whilst you can find info on Another Sunny Day, Reserve and The Siddleys on the Internet, there seems to be absolutely NOTHING on The Visitors or The Magic Shop. If anyone connected with either band happens to stumble across this Blog, we would really like to hear from you so we could do a more in depth piece on both bands. Also, as we've mentioned above, we have the tracks here on MP3s if anyone may be interested.
Contact us at the e-mail address at the top of the page.


Thursday, 21 October 2010

Ari Up, 17 January 1962 – 20 October 2010

For those of you who may have not yet heard the news, I'm sorry to say that Ari Up, vocalist with The Slits, has died. The singer, born Arianna Forster, passed away yesterday (20 October) after a "serious illness".The announcement was made by representatives of Ari's stepfather, John Lydon, last night. A statement on his website reads: "John and Nora have asked us to let everyone know that Nora's daughter Arianna (Ari Up) died today after a serious illness. She will be sadly missed".

I'm not the sort of person who would normally succumb to the modern inclination for misplaced grief at the death of a 'celebrity' so that is why I feel so utterly discomfited at how this news has made me feel; numb and forlorn. Let me try to put this into some kind of perspective. In 1979, my sister and I came across a record at the record stall in the old indoor market in Cardiff with a sleeve which could just not be ignored; 3 wild-haired, almost naked girls covered in mud and with a fuck-you look on their faces. The record was, of course, Cut, The Slits debut album, recorded that Spring at Ridge Farm Studios and released on the Island Record label. Understandably, given our mile-wide rebellious streaks at the time, it came home with us and as it spun on the turntable, the needle poised to descend, I was not to know that my life was about to change forever. 32 minutes later (it's a short album containing merely 10 wonderful, beautiful, mesmerising songs) I understood the power that music can have and I knew I wanted to hear and make music; free, passionate, wild and exhilarating; just like this for the rest of my life.
30 years have passed since that epiphany, bands and artists have come and gone and my record collection has mutated into a CD and now an MP3 collection, and yet one fact remains. If you were to ask me in 1980 what my favourite album was I would have told you unhesitatingly; Cut by The Slits. If you were to ask me in 1990, I would tell you - Cut by The Slits. If you had asked me in the year 2000, when Punk was just a fading memory and the idea of youth rebellion and changing the world was scorned as naive and unsophisticated, I would have told you - Cut by The Slits. And I'm telling you again tonight, when our young people are all blank-eyed consumers and we live in a soulless world of voracious, rampant capitalism, and horribly, unbelievably, Ari Up is dead! My favourite album, of all time, is Cut by The Slits!
From the first time I heard them I loved and treasured all of The Slits musical output, even when others couldn't understand and were hurtful and disparaging. I could say so much more about the art of Ari Up. In fact, I could go on and on until you begged me to stop but this is not the night for that. This is a night for remembering the woman, the musician, and the strength and the joy that Ari Up gave to so many people through the transforming power of her music. So, I'm going to give you this instead:

Good night, Ari.


Gordon Says: 'Don't Fade Away'

When Joe Strummer died, Griff phoned me that night so we could at least try to share the grief we both felt at his tragic passing. Joe was really the first 'music' death that really touched us....yeah yeah Sid Vicious, yeah yeah Ian Curtis, yeah yeah Kurt Cobain....but we never really felt it like we did when Joe died. Joe is one of the reasons this Blog(and ~Sighrens~) exists, he was the first of our gang to die and it hurt like hell.

The reason I mention this is not so I can now belittle Joe's passing, or appear disparaging about it, but the simple fact is that as much as we miss Joe, his death could never shock or sadden us the way Arianna's tragic passing has!

Griff's eulogy above says more than I ever could about Ari and the beauty of The Slits but I can't let this just pass without me putting in my tuppence worth.
It was Griff who introduced me to The Slits when he gave me a mix tape which featured their interpretation of Marvin Gaye's 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine', an event that has already been covered in a ~Streetlamp~ Blog. From that moment I was thoroughly smitten and 'Cut' became a permanent fixture in my musical and mental landscape. The disjointed rhythms, Ari's swooping and soaring vocals, the complete lack of any boorish 'boys only' cock-rock posturing....magical, vital, scary, sexy, ESSENTIAL!
It's safe to say that Ari's voice has filled the four walls of my room as much as Steven Morrissey, Robert Wratten, Nick Cave, Stuart Staples, Brian Wilson or Lennon and McCartney and it will continue to do so for many years.

I'll always smile when Ari sings "Again another evening without falling in love// So I listen to the Radiooooooo...."(from 'Ping-Pong Affair') because I always smiled when she sang it in my headphones as I walked to school. It's the little things like that which I will always treasure.

A couple of years ago The Slits reformed to play live shows and Griff and I swithered and swayed about going to see them. In the end we didn't! To say that I am, at this very moment, extremely f*cked off by this barely scratches the surface.

Whilst The Slits music will always be dear to us(to put it mildly), I've chosen not to close with a Slit's song as Griff has already covered that above, so I've chosen one of her greatest guest vocals.....'Fade Away' by New Age Steppers.......

Sleep well Momma Madussa xxx


Monday, 18 October 2010

Griff says; Hey guy, you are big time alright.

October is a funny old month; it's so melancholy, associated as it is with Autumn turning to Winter and, here in Scotland at least, the beginning of the long dark nights that last until Spring. The ancients recognised that and marked it with the festival of Samhain, a festival of the dead, and spirits, and masks and costumes and bonfires. You'll recognise that, of course, as the rest of the world nicked it from us and now call it Hallowe'en, but anyway back to the point, this also gives the month a gloss of something festive, which yet undeniably remains laced with an undercurrent of death, decadence and, dare I say it, sex. Given all this, I find myself drawn a little to darker music this weather, and I think I can promise a bit less of the soft folk stuff for a wee drop of the harder stuff for a bit.
So where are these ramblings taking us, you're no doubt begining to wonder? Well today, they lead us to Xiao 'Little Punk' Pengke who has this month released her debut solo album, 'Hey guy, you are big time alright', courtesy of Qu Records. The album consists of seven heartfelt, stripped to the bare bones songs, all available as free downloads on bandcamp. The song lyrics touch on themes of disaffection, withdrawal and alienation. However, if that sounds rather too nihilistic for your pleasure I should add that there is also a glimmer of something bright, something lively, damn it, something overtly sexy within the music. Perfect October listening then. Have a listen to track no. 1, Cuties, to see what I mean:

Xiao, from Shanghai, is a poetess whose early work, to be found on myspace as 'little punk freak rnr band' would fit happily into my usual pigeonhole of lo-fi indie-folk. She also plays the keyboards and provides vocals for Shanghai-based folk punk band 'Boys Climbing Ropes'. This new solo work, however, is something a bit different again. The music is eminently simple; comprising of Xiao's stream of consciousness vocal, absolutely laced with anomie, over the top of some excellent guitar work, part punk/part surf/part folk, provided by Andy Best. Need more convincing? Then check out the smart and funny DIY video, in which Little Punk turns Hit-Girl style masked avenger, for track no. 7, 'I'm Not In the Mood for Making a Song', which can be seen here.

Here's the track on it's own:



Thursday, 14 October 2010

Griff says; Útidúr - where the Sad Panda meets the Bad Panda!

You may remember that back in May (see here) I blogged about a 12 piece /indie/folk/pop band from Iceland called Útidúr (pronounced: ooh! – detour). At that time the band had posted three extremely promising demo songs on to bandcamp and were in the process of recording their first album. The album entitled 'This Mess We've Made' is now finished and will be out this week via Gogoyoko and bandcamp. The band have just released a couple of the songs on Youtube allowing us a sneak preview and I think you'll like what you hear (below). The Útidúr studio sound is now richer and more fully orchestral with the arrangements displaying a definite flavour of the film scores of 'Streetlamp' hero Ennio Morricone about them.

On top of that, the band have also released a free digital single via the nice people at Bad Panda Records (BadPanda051 Fisherman’s Friend / Grasping for Thoughts). I've wanted to mention Bad Panda for a while as they are a free-download netlabel releasing Creative Commons licensed songs (one free song every Monday), which is, as you should know by now, a concept dear to the Streetlamp's heart. Also, they have a rather fine roster of artists many of whom will appeal to those of you who enjoy these 'Griff says' recommendations. And, of course, I also wanted to introduce their intrepid, gun-toting Panda icon to our own rather more introverted little fellow.

Oh, dear! I do hope that they play nice.

The Bad Panda release is also available for preview and download at the Free Music Archive (songs below).



Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Griff says; Ready, Aim, Fireflies!

This month seems like a good time to bring the music of Lisle Mitnik to your attention. Lisle has been a presence on myspace since 2004 and throughout the last six years he has been steadily releasing his self-produced, twee, lo-fi, dreampop under the name of Fireflies. In September, Fireflies also became a presence on bandcamp. Currently, Fireflies have three albums and two EPs up on the site and you'll be delighted to learn that the EPs; 'Strange' from March 2008 and 'Butterscotch' from March 2009 are available as free digital downloads (the albums are also very reasonably priced).

<a href="">Strange by Fireflies</a>

<a href="">Butterscotch by Fireflies</a>

The good news is that Fireflies attempt to grab the attention of the indie-pop world continues apace during October. I'd like to introduce you now to the Bubbletone Club 7 Digital Singles Club. What is it? Well, essentially, on the first day of every month Bubbletone release one, sometimes two, freely downloadable digital single(s). That's right, just like a seven inch single, except for the inches. So go ahead grab one for free right here, it's all yours. Enjoy and share with your friends and family. The Fireflies tracks featured are 'New November Leaves' and 'Pale Flashing Light'. We here at the Streetlamp are especially fond of the latter. Have a listen below:

And there's more! As you will hopefully be aware the lovely people at EardrumsPop have recently made a commitment to release a free digital single on the 10th and 20th of every month. Every single will include two songs by the band, and in addition several will include a cover-version of a song the band think deserves more attention. The cover art will be made by the label's favourite illustrators, and they would like the public to see the single as a split-release between the band and the illustrator. For this release the beautiful cover illustration comes courtesy of Minkee. The singles will vary in style, from acoustic folk-songs to noisy indiepop and covering everything in between, but always warm and melodic. The 10th of October saw the release of ePop005 by Tiny Fireflies. You may remember Tiny Fireflies featuring on EardrumsPop’s 'Between Two Waves' compilation earlier this year. Basically, Tiny Fireflies are Lisle (from Fireflies) and Kristine (from Tiny Microphone). Indie know-alls may also recognise that both are also members of Chicago-based weePOP! band Very Truly Yours. Those self-same indie know-alls will also recognise three superbly crafted dreamy pop-songs when they hear them and will rush to download this here. My own personal favourite on the single is the otherworldly cover of 'The End of The World' but then I've had a soft spot for this particular song for a very long time. Have a listen:
Tiny Fireflies - ePop005 - digital single by EardrumsPop

So there you go, two brand new releases and a wonderful back catalogue to boot. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Fireflies (and Tiny Fireflies)!



Monday, 4 October 2010

Griff says; The woods are lovely, dark and deep

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, indeed. But on this occasion I'm not referring to Robert Frost's 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening' (and if you recognised the quote then award yourself 100 lovely 'Streetlamp' intellectual pretension points) but to 'Through the woods, divided', Mellow Dramatic Avenue's sixth album on the Kakadua Partnership label officially released today (October 4th).
Mellow Dramatic Avenue was formed in 1996 in Lund, Southern Sweden and their fine blend of down-tempo, organic, indie-folk/rock is available to hear and to download for free at their own band website and also at

'Through the woods, divided'
was recorded in the Rönnehill Studio during 2009/2010. The band state that; "The music will lead you right into the woods of heard and unheard stories".

The album features 11 songs, all with a melancholy, Autumnal vibe which makes it perfect listening for a dark, rainy evening's listening (and tonight in Scotland it's very wet and dark indeed). If you like your music slow, reflective and wistful; think Great lake Swimmers, Horse Feathers or Blind Pilot, then this lot should be right up your street.
In honour of the release of 'Through the woods, divided' , Ray has given track 8, 'Now That You're Gone', an appropriately arboreal video treatment.

Hope you liked that as much as we do. Now head over to the band's myspace or pages to hear the rest of the tracks and to leave the band a shout.


Sunday, 3 October 2010

~Kitten Wine~#20: Clouds Of Tranquility

"A Typical Day At The Streetlamp HQ":

So here's what we did yesterday(2nd October 2010).....

Griff, Ray and I convened at the Streetlamp HQ on a beautiful, if a little wet, Autumnal Saturday with nothing in mind but to listen to some old Sha-La-La and Sarah flexidiscs, some classic Indiepop singles, devise new videos for our Blog, trawl the Internet for new bands to listen to and basically discuss and work on the Blog in general.
Fuelled by the twin drugs of soup and tea we beavered away in a world so irrefutably Tweepop, whilst Jill worked away in the other room scanning images and record sleeves for us. An almost idyllic setting. If we could do it full time, you can bet we wouldn't hesitate to do so.

And so it was that amongst the pile of 7" goodies that we listened to that afternoon, we stumbled upon 'Tranquil' by The Clouds. This is a record that is almost PURE 'Streetlamp', it practically symbolises EVERYTHING that we stand for, represent and love.
It's a 7" single, the only proper release The Clouds ever made(although they did have a track called 'Jenny Nowhere' on a flexidisc but sadly we've never seen or heard it), it's on Subway Records and was recorded in Edinburgh in 1987. It's a vibrant and essential slice of pure Scottish Indiepop, and despite the obscurity of both the band and the single itself, it is very much treasured amongst the Indiepop community....check out Sean Forbes' comments about the single in the booklet that accompanies Rough Trade's Indiepop 1 CD compilation.
Of course, being this was the Streetlamp, we also felt the nostalgic pull back to more innocent days when the single was still a current release and when the world felt like a good place to be a part of and our lives still had a long way to unfold. And in the golden glow of a beautiful Saturday afternoon in October, the giddy wondrous music made us grin madly and forget the shittier things in life like our jobs and the Cameron/Clegg Utopia!

Take it away...

As we sat listening, glowing with contentment, it occurred to me that what motivates us is the very passion with which all of the records we write about are created. And it made me wonder about the people out there who only listen to, say, Level 42, Simply Red, Dire Straits or UB40....bland, turgid music with lyrics bereft of any sentiment or emotion, and I came to the conclusion that the people who listen to this kind of music are probably people who never really feel any true emotions, never really feel anything resembling passion or drama, people for whom music is simply wallpaper. How empty their lives must feel. I know that people tend to slag of trainspotters, stamp collectors or those who go angling, but I can understand that desire much more than I can people who simply use music as a garnish for their dinner parties.

We've never stood for it, and we never will. For us, music is everything and the bands, record labels and individuals that we champion all have that same hunger, desire and madness that we have. The music we write about and promote here is so full of passion, so full of life that it has become a full time job for us to keep banging on about it.

But for's a job that we love!!