Claps, Clicks & Whistles #21

I’ll be honest, I have been devoid of inspiration for a while, hence the sporadic posts.

But here’s something which popped up on my iPlayer earlier yesterday, as I rode the bus into work, which practically made me yelp with excitement.

Which drew some funny looks from fellow travellers, but I think the majority of them are getting used to my strangled emissions by now.

Anyway, here’s a tune which further endorses my theory that any song which contains either hand-claps, finger-clicks or…um…lippy whistles is almost always a magnificently cheerful one:

Super Furry Animals – Play It Cool

And if that doesn’t get your weekend off to a cracking start, then nothing will.

More soon.

Claps, Clicks & Whistles #20

Blimey, it’s been a while since I wrote one of these!

For those of you who don’t recall the thrust of this series, or those who have only started frequenting these pages in the not unsizeable gap that is since March 2018, here’s the giste: I have a theory, and that theory is that any song which features either handclaps, finger-clicks or whistles can only be fantastic (and generally upbeat) records. This series sets out to test this theory.

So far, I have been 100% correct, but then I do have the slight advantage of being the content provider/writer/editor.

So I’ll keep it brief, for this artiste needs no introduction whatsoever:

Prince – I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man

More soon.

Claps, Clicks & Whistles #19

Toronto: not just in Canada, but from Canada.

I refer, of course, to the band Toronto, who, having formed in Toronto, must have spent a really long time at the whiteboard, blue-sky thinking, before they came up with the moniker they chose for their band.

This is by them, a prime slice of early 80s US MOR rock, which reached the giddy heights of #5 in the Canadian charts, #77 in the US charts, and absolutely nowhere in any other chart in the world ever. Don’t let that put you off though:

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Toronto – Your Daddy Don’t Know

There’s a better version of that though, from a film I’ve never seen. I suspect from what I have seen and heard about it, Fubar: The Movie is a sort of Canadian slacker Spinal Tap meets Bill & Ted type affair. And why would I want to watch that when I can watch This is Spinal Tap itself, or the actual Bill & Ted films?

But this version is faster, punchier and meatier than the original:

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The New Pornographers – Your Daddy Don’t Know

More soon.

Claps, Clicks & Whistles #18

I’m going to assume you’re all clever enough to be watching Mum.

No??

*Deep breath* Okay…

I mentioned it in passing way back here when the first series was on, and the show is currently nearing the end of it’s second series on the BBC.

Written and directed by Stefan Glaszewski, who cut his comedy teeth in sketch group Cowards and was also responsible for the almost as brilliant Him and Her, it tells the story of Cathy (played by Lesley Manville), trying to carry on after the death of her husband. Which doesn’t sound like the most cheerful of premise for a comedy show, I’ll admit, but it’s so well written and acted it’s pretty much perfect and irresistible.

The ensemble cast includes her son, Jason (Sam Swainsbury) who still lives at home with her (and is always eating), and his girlfriend Kelly (Lisa McGrills) who, shall we say, is not the brightest bead on the rosary. As with Him and Her, every episode is filmed in the same location, the family home, where Cathy, Jason and Kelly are inevitably visited by Cathy’s newly-separated brother Derek (Ross Boatman) and his hideously wannabe posh new girlfriend Pauline (Dorothy Atkinson), who spends every scene looking down her nose at whoever she is on screen with her. Also in tow are her in-laws, the fabulously cantankerous, bewildered and foul-mouthed Reg (Karl Johnson) and Maureen (Marlene Sidaway).

And then there’s Michael (Peter Mullan). I’ve only ever seen Mullan play tough nuts, bad guys or Swanney (aka Mother Superior, on the account of the length of his habit, in Trainspotting) before, so his portrayal of Michael is a real revelation to me. Michael clearly is clearly smitten with Cathy, is forever popping round to do jobs for her in the hope that she’ll notice him in “that way”, never able to tell her that he has feelings for fear of ruining their friendship. Every time he is interrupted by someone else walking into the room when he’s alone with Cathy, who can see in his eyes the inner torment that’s raging.

It’s this relationship which forms the heart of the show, a “will they/won’t they” scenario that you’re genuinely hoping will end positively, even though you know that will almost definitely spell the end of the programme.

Often with the show, it’s not about what is said, it’s the silences, the nuances, the looks between the characters that really makes Mum so wonderful. It’s like a funny Pinter play. I can’t speak highly enough of it, so if you haven’t done so yet, check it out on the BBC iPlayer whilst you still can. Suffice it to say, if you loved Detectorists – and if you didn’t then we can never really be friends – then chances are you’ll also love Mum.

Oh, and then there’s the theme tune, a revival of the 1931 Carter Family song “When I’m Gone”, which, depending on which corner of the internet you look, is either called “You’re Gonna Miss Me”, “Cups”, “When I’m Gone”, “Cups (You’re Gonna Miss Me)” or “You’re Gonna Miss Me (Cups)” and so on and so forth. What is not up for debate is that it’s by Lulu and the Lampshades, and the “Cups” refers to the method of percussion used in their interpretation, but I’m pretty sure I can hear some claps and clicks in there too:

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Lulu and the Lampshades – You’re Gonna Miss Me

More soon.

Claps, Clicks & Whistles #17

Something pretty bloody wonderful to kick off your weekend.

The Pipettes seem to have ground to a halt, but the three band members involved with their short fifteen minutes of fame have moved on to other projects, with varying degrees of success: Rose Elinor Dougall is a solo artist but also performs in Mark Ronson’s band; Rebecca Stephens seems to flit between recording under the name Electric Blue and Projectionists, whilst Gwenno Saunders has toured playing keyboards for some chap called Elton John, whoever he is, and in 2014 released the simply stunning Welsh language album Y Dydd Olaf, which if you’ve never heard I can heartily recommend, even if, like me, you don’t understand a ruddy word she’s sing.

The Pipettes had a distinct look (predominantly polka dot skirts which would make Strawberry Switchblade green with envy) and some corking tunes, not least this, from 2006, their biggest – okay, their only – UK hit. Given how simply loveable this is, it’s a real shame that their time in the spotlight was criminally brief:

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 The Pipettes – Pull Shapes

If you’re heading out tonight, I heartily recommend that you incorporate this into your  getting ready routine.

More soon.

I Think I’m In L.U.V.

It’s not often I post new(ish) music here, but having got hold of a copy of Catholic Action’s “In  Memory Of” album, I simply had to share it with you.

Mostly, because I’m really surprised that, as far as I can see, none of my blogging peers seem to have picked up on them as yet, which is even more surprising given that Catholic Action are from Glasgow, the spiritual home of the music blogger.

They caught my eye when reading a review of them which mentioned the album had been produced by Chris McCrory, who had worked with Breakfast Muff. Not a name that would ever have piqued my interest (other than for the smutty possibility of Muff gags) had a record by them not been nominated by Stevie from Charity Chic Music back on The Chain (remember that..?) #42 (where, of course, I exhausted all of the smutty possibilities of Muff gags), but it’s a single I really liked, so I figured I’d investigate this lot.

A quick search of YouTube (I’m so modern) led me to conclude they were worth investing in, and having given the album a couple of spins, I genuinely think I love them.

I’ve not quite worked out who they remind me of, all I can say is there’s a lot of indie influences in there (I think I hear Weezer on “Breakfast“) but the only ones I’ve definitely nailed so far are Franz Ferdinand and Belle and Sebastian, which, given they all hail from the same area, may just be lazy thinking on my part.

You can definitely hear the FF’s influence on this, their debut single and the album’s opening track (NB – as usual, on the rare event of me posting new music, I’m not giving you an mp3. If you like this, go and buy it.). Give your ears a treat and give this a darn good listening to:

And, from 2016, and which stretches my assertion that their a new band to its knicker-elastic-twanging limit, here’s their eulogy to one Ms Ora:

See? Told you so. Chuffing ace.

More soon.

Claps, Clicks & Whistles

And so my Christmas break begins. No work till next Thursday, and today I’m travelling up to spend the next few days with my folks.

So, although they no longer live in the same village as I grew up, this seems appropriate:

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Emmy the Great & Tim Wheeler – Home for the Holidays

More soon.