Best of 2014: 30-21

This is the weirdest and, from a selection point of view, the most horrible part of the whole list to write up.  Every one of the ten albums listed below are stunners, but for reasons various they didn’t quite make the top twenty.  If only the reason “well there were twenty records that I thought were better” was accurate, but it’s far from the truth.  In a section that is.. Read More

Not The Mercury Shortlist 2014

I could really just post the intro blurb from when I did this last year as it’s pretty much exactly the same thing… Is anyone really that bothered about the Mercury Prize anymore?  Named after oh hang on, this is the intro blurb from last year.  Sorry.  Nice to see the Jazzers getting back in again to this year’s list, but it’s still a bit same old same old in order.. Read More

Smoke Fairies

It always seems a bit strange when a band goes eponymous some way into a career.  The usual way about things is to self-titlingly announce yourselves right at the start and then take it from there, wherever “it” takes you.  When it does happen though, it’s an eyebrow-raiser.  Why now?  Why this? It does all become rather apparent once attention is paid to what the Smoke Fairies have achieved with.. Read More

Smoke Fairies – Ghosts: A Collection

The full title of Ghosts: A Collection Of A-Sides, B-Sides and an EP From The Recent Past wouldn’t fit in the box I have at the top of this page to enter such things, so the least I could do was embolden it at the earliest opportunity.  And it’s a collection of which is as accurate as it is copiously-monickered, for it gathers a selection of early singles, plus what may.. Read More

Sunday Whatever

Best Laid Plans, and all that.  The current default setting here at the mo is “try to do something, then knock something else together as quickly as possible because Plan A has just gone a bit wonky”.  The pic to the left of this scribbling is the majestic, erm, majesty of the planet Saturn which looks stunning through the telescope but more than a little bit smudgy when I employ.. Read More

Record Store Day 2013 – The Records

Because, quite frankly, my previous post was basically me spending the thick end of 800 words about hanging about outside a shop, when the best bit was spent hanging about briefly (there was a queue behind me!) inside one as well. Yes, I bought some records.  It would have been frankly rude not to have done so.  I just wish I could have spent a bit longer rummaging in the.. Read More

Mid-Afternoon Compilation Saturday: Reason To Believe – The Songs Of Tim Hardin

Try as I might, I don’t think that this will ever be a regular occurrence – in my defence however, Saturday is currently the one day of the week I don’t work, so I tend to sleep right through them nowadays rather than seek out fresh compilations to badly wax lyrical about.  Nice bit of serendipity today though, as this arrived today (ahead of Monday’s release – one of the.. Read More

Best Of 2012: The Other Things

Only one part left to do, and the infernal list is finished for another year. I know why everyone else does theirs in committees now. Anyway, before I get things wrapped up and back to normal, I want to mention a few other related comings and (sadly) goings that made 2012 special for me. It’s been a genuinely odd year for the blog, although that was mostly my fault. Twice.. Read More

Best Of 2012, No.4: Smoke Fairies – Blood Speaks

Good grief, I appear to be back on some sort of track!  I suppose the thing is now I’m getting to my absolute favourites, I’m finding myself that little bit more eager to write stuff.  Also, I’m not suffering from Food Poisoning like I was the other week, and that does wonders for the old concentration levels.  Onto Number Four then, and one that has vague echoes of two records that.. Read More

Oh, Go On Then – Alternative Mercury Prize Not Quite Shortlist

I have to say that the real Mercury Prize shortlist this year is a bit of a disappointment this year in the respect that it’s a bit on the vanilla side.  Thankfully this means that everyone can get all in a strop about *their* faves not getting a mention, and this is the real spirit of the competition.  Frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way from an award named.. Read More