Grabbel and The Final Cut – You Are The Sun (Official Music Video)

The celestial new music video from Grabbel and the Final Cut premieres later today.  You Are The Sun is the title track from the EP of the same name.  Remixed by  Russian sound engineer/producer Sergey Bogaev and released in December 2018. The video enhances the soaring guitars with vintage space footage of Apollo 11.  As the video pans over the Earth from space washes of guitar.  The live footage of the band was filmed by Günni Ungar and Oliver Winkel at Salon Hansen in their hometown Lüneburg, Germany.

You Are the Sun EP is available from Bandcamp

Curve – The Way of Curve

A double CD tribute to the late great Curve. It is a catalogue of their best moments a retrospective without being the ‘Best of ’. The first disc is all the singles in chronological order, which naturally starts off with Ten Little Girls. Which leads to the question. Why, oh why, did they let MC JC001 loose on a couple of verses?

The second disc features rarities’ from the Superblaster EP that was only available in Germany, and a new single for the album Disguise. There are covers of Ian Dury’s What a Waste, the Kevin Shields remix of Coming Up Roses and Donna Summer’s I Feel Love. It does not have my own personal favourite Curve b-side, the cathartic No Escape from Heaven, which was featured on the The Blindfold EP.

Not wishing to name drop or anything but in a particularly embarrassing conversation with Louise Trehy from Swallow, I happened to mention my teenage admiration for her. It was pretty bad I think I might of said, ‘your oh so dreamy’.  Anyway Louise said that she did not feel like an indie pinup because Toni Halliday had her own make-up artist unlike all the other indie sirens.  This was how much was expected of Curve.

The whole album is very polished from start to finish. I am a very much a fan of the early nineties output, up until Doppelganger, but this has managed to stretch my interest beyond the nineties.

Curve : The Way of Curve (Disc 1)

Ten Little Girls
Coast is Clear
Clipped
Die Like a Dog
Horror Head
Fait Accompli
Missing Link
Superblaster
Pink Girl with the Blues
Recovery
Chinese Burn
Coming Up Roses
Hell Above Water
Want More Need Less
Perish
Nice and Easy

Curve : The Way of Curve (Disc 2 Rare and Unreleased)

On the Wheel
Triumph
Arms Out
Sigh
Mission from God
Today is Not the Day
Low and Behold
Nothing Without Me
What a Waste (with Ian Dury)
Falling Free (Aphex Twin mix)
Chinese Burn (Lunatic Calm mix)
Coming Up Roses (Kevin Shields mix)
I Feel Love
In Disguise
Sinner

Lush – Mad Love

Coming after the mini-album Scar, the Robin Guthrie produced Mad Love marked the arrival of the definitive sound of Lush.  It was also the last time Steve Rippon appeared on Bass he was replaced by Phil King after. Recorded in The Church which was Dave Stewart’s studio with not too much production over the top.

The opener De-Luxe is intoxicating dreamy with an infectious melody that sounds like the sun rising on a clear morning.  Leaves Me Cold allegedly is about an inappropriate dream that Miki Berenyi had.  I always thought of the vocals in Lush songs as extra instruments and never listened to the actual words. Downer showcases the Emma/Miki chorus singing.  The version of Thoughtforms on this EP is different to the one released on Scar, Lush must really love this song because it was reworked again in the album Gala.

Mad Love’s title is a rough translation of L’amour fou, the title of a 1937 photographic novel by French surrealist writer André Breton. Guitarist Emma Anderson suggested the idea for the title to Berenyi after the latter received a telephone call from 4AD co-founder Ivo Watts-Russell requesting a title for the record in less than an hour. Bassist Steve Rippon considered it a “heavy metal title … like Led Zeppelin”, while Berenyi said it was reminiscent of the 1987 film Crazy Love (this was directly lifted from Wikipedia)

‘Mad Love (EP)’ 2019, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, Wikimedia Foundation Inc., viewed 19 May 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mad_Love_(EP)

Lush : Mad Love

De-Luxe              
Leaves Me Cold
Downer
Thoughtforms

Top – Emotion Lotion

The scouse trio Top, made a fine album and then disappeared off the map without a trace. Way ahead of their time, for their time. Top was comprised of Alan Willis, Joe Fearon and Paul Cavanagh who appeared at the end of the baggy madchester scene. With songs such as Buzzin’ it is clear that Top were part of this and the rave scene. I like to think that they got their name from the rave mantra top one, nice one, get sorted. What seems really strange is that there is really not very much known about Top. They went when the baggy bubble burst. I do seem to remember one of them always wore a sweatshirt with thick vertical stripes, very early nineties. There are rumours that Joe did some DJing in a Liverpool club called La’go and he would get embarrassed if anyone mentioned his former band, and Paul was in indie combo Smaller. Other than that, not much can be found out.

Their album Emotion Lotion is well crafted and melodic like their fellow Liverpudlians, The Real People and The La’s. I have always thought that the psychedelic Real People song Open Up Your Mind (Let Me In) should of been recorded by Top. The album is a minor classic that didn’t even set Merseyside on fire. It has a bit of everything on it Number One Dominator is drenched in baggy wah, Buzzin’ is inspired by MDMA, Soul Magic is wistful and so the record proceeds. It is like a slice of the early nineties on a plate.

Unfortunately Top were in the wilderness years, too late for Madchester and too early for Britpop.

Top : Emotion Lotion

Number One Dominator
Buzzin
Soul Magic
Hi Baby Hi
Goodnight
Feel Good
Love By Demand
Easy
As Far As I Can See
She’s Got All The World
Life’s Only Dreaming

 

Birdland – Hollow Heart

A breakneck debut single, performed by the peroxide bobbed hair four piece from the midlands. An absolute firecracker of a debut, it still hangs onto a melody despite being incredibly fast. It is one of those times when you think to yourself that the record player has switched to 78rpm. Completely over the top and ridiculous, which is why they are worth a place in musical history. There is little to differentiate between the songs, each has buzzsaw, giddy guitar solos that complement the vocal rush of lyrics.

Completely different to what was going on in the wistful indie scene. Which was introverted and whimsical. Just imagine this being performed by Birdland live, with onstage synchronised formation pogoing. This is the sound that they create on the single.

Birdland : Hollow Heart

Hollow Heart
Crystal
Gotta Get Away
Sugar Blood

Manic Street Preachers – Generation Terrorists

It is time to delve back into the archives. I was reading about Birdland the other day and it occurred to me that way back in the early nineties the Manic Street Preachers were considered a poor relation to the peroxide four piece. This inspired me to update a post from the past.

It was in 1992 I saw the Manic Street Preachers, at Southampton University. Richey was still there. It was only recently the “4 Real” incident took place. When Steve Lamacq asked Richey about his conviction to the punk cause. Richey promptly carved “4 Real” into his forearm with a razor blade to prove his devotion to the cause.

The support was the Wildhearts who were a little too roooccckkk for my whimsical shoegazing ways. Then the Manics appeared. They were riding high on the back of their success with ’Love’s Sweet Exile’. Nicky

shouted at a fan brandishing a camera, ’I’d rather die than have my photograph taken’. They stopped because someone was smoking in the crowd. Then they left. The whole concert was shorter than See See Rider’s back catalogue. It lasted all of 30 minutes, if that.

It is time to delve back into the archives. I was reading about Birdland the other day and it occurred to me that way back in the early nineties the Manic Street Preachers were considered a poor relation to the peroxide four piece. This inspired me to update a post from the past.

It was in 1992 I saw the Manic Street Preachers, at Southampton University. Richey was still there. It was
only recently the “4 Real” incident took place. When Steve Lamacq asked Richey about his conviction to the punk cause. Richey promptly carved “4 Real” into his forearm with a razor blade to prove his devotion to the cause.

The support was the Wildhearts who were a little too roooccckkk for my whimsical shoegazing ways. Then the Manics appeared. They were riding high on the back of their success with Love’s Sweet Exile. Nicky shouted at a fan brandishing a camera, ’I’d rather die than have my photograph taken’. They stopped because someone was smoking in the crowd. Then they left. The whole concert was shorter than See See Rider’s back catalogue. It lasted all of 30 minutes, if that.

Manic Street Preachers : Generation Terrorists

Slash N’ Burn
Nat West-Barclays-Midlands-Lloyds
Born To End
Motorcycle Emptiness
You Love Us
Love’s Sweet Exile
Little Baby Nothing
Repeat (Stars And Stripes)
Tennessee
Another Invented Disease
Stay Beautiful
So Dead
Repeat (UK)
Spectators Of Suicide
Damn Dog
Crucifix Kiss
Methadone Pretty
Condemned To Rock ‘N’ Roll

14 Iced Bears – Inside

The debut single from 14 Iced Bears, Inside. Released on their own Frank record label in that classic year for indiepop 1986.  14 Iced Bears were always associated with Sarah records but it looks like Come Get Me was their only Sarah release but it appears on Air Balloon Road and Shadow Factory compilations.

It would be obvious to think that they are twee, even their moniker has a saccharine taste.
But Inside and Blue Suit has thumping drums and a deranged guitar sound.

14 Iced Bears : Inside

Inside
Blue Suit
Cut