Friday Night Music Club

Evening all.

Ready for another roller-coaster ride of fun? Well, you’ll just have to make do with another of my mixes, I’m afraid.

And I’m introducing a new mission statement for this series: no longer will there be mixes which focus solely on one type of music, be it dance, indie, rock or whatever. From now on, each week will be as much of a mixed bag of genres as I can throw together from all the tunes I own. I’ll try to introduce you to something new, remind you of some stuff you’ve probably forgotten about, and reacquaint you with some old favourites.

Place your bets as to how long I’ll last before I get bored and revert to type.

In the meantime, buckle up (or unzip, whichever floats your boat), and feast your lug-holes around my latest effort, No 20 in a series that thus far actually has actually contained 28 mixes and 2 *ahem* “Specials” at Easter and Christmas. Go figure.

Friday Night Music Club Vol 20

And here’s your track-listing and sleeve notes – look away now if you don’t want to spoil any surprises:

  1. Flight of the Conchords – Business Time

It takes a pretty special comedy duo to have released a record which still makes me laugh fourteen years after I first heard it, but New Zealand’s finest folksters achieved it with their eponymous album (the follow-up, I Told You I Was Freaky, not so much, although it has its moments).

Anyway, Business Time finds Jemaine getting ready to get down and dirty with his other half, and it’s the perfect way to kick things off this week, apart from the fact that Jemaine’s getting lucky on a Wednesday, but I don’t do a Wednesday Night Music Club, so here will have to do.

2. M J Cole – Sincere

Shortly after Hel and I first became mates, we began exchanging mixtapes. (I know what you’re thinking, but you’re wrong – neither of us was trying to impress the other in quite the way that preparing a mixtape for a member of the opposite sex usually indicates.) No, this was prompted by me confessing that (at the time) I didn’t own any Prince records, and only knew the singles. Hel provided me with a C90 crammed full of Princely treats, which was the perfect “in” (again, with his music) that I needed. I was, of course, tempted to reciprocate with 90 minutes of Quo, but decided better of it, and responded with a mixed bag playlist, much like the one you’re (hopefully) listening to now. She then responded with two mixtapes, modestly titled “The Greatest Mixtape in the World Vol 1 & 2”, at which point I decided to nip things in the bud before I was forced to buy shares in TDK to continue.

Anyway, this little beauty, which I’d never heard before, was on one of the ones she did for me, and I’ve loved it ever since.

And I have told you that because it was either that or make a rubbish joke about ex-footballer Joe Cole, and you wouldn’t want me to stoop so low, would you?

3. Oakenfold – Starry Eyed Surprise

Last week, I included an Oakenfold mix of an indie classic, and here he is again, this time with a song released under his own name. It features the vocals of someone who wants us to believe their name is Shifty Shellshock, who some of you may remember as the lead singer of Crazy Town, who had a hit with the godawful Butterfly back in 2000. Despite, or perhaps because of, all these composite parts, I really love this record, to the point where a couple of months agoI bought Bunkka, the double vinyl Oakenfold album it appears on. It speaks volumes that I’ve not listened to it yet, mind.

4. Sheila B. Devotion – Spacer

Now, even though the tag-line for this blog is that there’s No Such Thing As a Guilty Pleasure, there are still some tunes which I love but wonder if the world is ready for me attempting to defend. This, from 1979, featured pretty highly on the list. Until recently, when much respected music journalist Jon Savage released the latest in his excellent series of compilation albums (Jon Savage’s 1977-1979: “Symbols Clashing Everywhere”) recently, and included this. So, job done, I’m totally vindicated.

5. Technotronic – Get Up! (Before The Night Is Over)

Yes. You read that right. Technotronic. Here, in one of my mixes. Because it’s ace, as is it’s predecessor Pump Up The Jam (although I hated both when they originally came out. No guitars, see?). And if you disagree, well, you’re just plain wrong. Nuff said.

6. Starlight – Numero Uno (Club Mix)

Since we find ourselves momentarily back in the realms of late 80s/early 90s dance anthems, this juicy slice of italo-piano house deserves a revisit too. Cracking stuff (although I hated it when it originally…etc etc etc)

7. The SuperMen Lovers – Starlight (Radio Edit)

To bring things a little more up-to-date (by which I mean 2001), I cannot deny that this is here purely because the previous tune made me think of it. As such, it’s as close to a link between any two tunes you’ll find in this mix. Funky stuff, which I liked quite a lot when it came out (the dance-penny having finally dropped).

8. Tush – Chrysalis

I imagine this lot are so-named because their records make you want to shake yours. And speaking of being up-to-date, this is from 2021, and is lifted from the band’s rather fantastic Fantast album. Check it out, I’m sure they’ll be getting ripped off fairly paid for having their songs on some streaming site or another.

9. The Bloody Beetroots – Cornelius

This is an absolute banger; it reminds me of The Prodigy output circa 2009’s Invaders Must Die album, except, y’know, good.

10. Lemon Jelly – ’88 Aka Come Down On Me

If you’re one of those people who think Lemon Jelly only released chill-out choons, then give this a listen and think again. And they were wise to the fact that ’64-’95 – the album this comes from – sounds very different to their previous output, for it had a sticker on the front warning: “This is our new album. It’s not like our old album.” And they’re right, it really isn’t.

11. Electric Six – Danger High Voltage

If I could be bothered to check, I’d look to see who appeared on the scene with their comedy chops unfurled first: this lot or The Darkness. Either way, they both got found out as being one-trick poneys around the same time, as I recall. Which doesn’t mean that neither of them made decent records; Danger High Voltage remains a belter in my book.

12. Stiff Little Fingers – Listen

Now there’s a well-engineered mood change, even if I do say so myself. This is not exactly typical of SLF’s output, it’s a little more chart friendly than, say Tin Soldiers or Alternative Ulster, but it does have an anthemic sing-a-long chorus you can join in with whilst you have yourself a nice sit down and a bit of breather, before we crank things up again for the finale.

13. Conway – Big Talk

This was much played on 6Music a few years ago. I bought it. Not many others did, I fear. It’s pretty good in that 80s-esque/Ladyhawke kind of way that was popular a while back.

14. Arcade Fire – Wake Up

And so to the…er…climax, although now I’m writing this I have a nasty feeling I’ve included this in a previous mix, which means I may have broken my “no record shall feature twice” rule. Ah well, if I have it was good while it lasted. In any event, it’s a thoroughly rousing way to round things off.

Except that’s not quite the end:

15. Primal Scream – Velocity Girl

That is.

More soon.

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Trying to decide what to post this week, I plumped for something by Michelle Shocked, who hasn’t featured here since February.

Next decision: which song?

So, I did a search on the blog to ascertain – and therefore rule out – those which had already featured, and I’m ashamed to say I fell into quite the rabbot-hole re-reading some of my old posts, which may sound a little egotistical (to quote the late Mac Davis from his classic Hard to be Humble: “Some folks say that I’m egotistical, hell I don’t even know what that means. I guess it has something to do with the way that I fill out my skin-tight blue jeans”), but it really wasn’t: I’m rapidly approaching my 2000th post here, and, whilst I have a pretty good idea of what songs I’ve posted before, when it comes to artists who have featured more than once, and who I really like and own a lot by, well…this old memory ain’t as great as it used to be.

Anyway, I landed on a post from 2016, which also featured Ms Shocked, and noting several comments had been left, I decided to give them a read too. And there was one from Charity Chic, author of one of my favourite blogs Charity Chic Music which I regrettably rarely have time to swing by and read these days. It’s one of the curses of writing one of these blogs – I used to spend hours each evening gleefully visiting the very long list of music blogs I used to frequent, rarely, if ever, leaving a comment or a thank you, selfish little sod that I was – but now it seems most of my spare time is taken up with writing my own. (I’m writing this on Friday night/Saturday morning and, wracked with guilt at this confession, I’ve just popped over there and was amused to see that, just as I bemoaned my failing memory earlier in this post, so has CC his in his post on Friday.)

But I digress: CC’s comment was that one particular Shocked song was his “go-to tune from that album [Short Sharp Shocked]”, so I figured I’d post that one for you, and him, today, as a little nod and apology.

Stevie, this one’s for you:

Michelle Shocked – Memories of East Texas

More soon.

PS – The views and opinions of Ms Shocked are not condoned, shared or supported by A History of Dubious Taste.

PPS – The views, opinions and musical selections of Charity Chic most definitely are.

PPPS – Of course I left him a comment this time.

Friday Night Music Club

Postponed from last week, as this edition is the very antithesis of a recent “indie guitars only” mix – it’s off to Da Club, and I thought some might find it disrespectful had I posted something encouraging you folks to dance on what was supposed to a very sombre weekend.

I ummd and ahhd about whether to include sleeve notes with each track, or simply write about an experience I had during my clubbing days, but I’m nowhere near drunk enough for the latter, so sleeve notes it is. Don’t worry, the story will keep for another day.

So, as this week’s playlist is one where I have to actually mix the tunes, I should probably blow the dust of the old disclaimer: any shonky mixes are down to me (listening back, it actually sounds ok, although one tune clearly ends a lot more abruptly than expected); any skips or jumps are down to the mixing software or the uploading process; all song choices are mine.

Right, get your dancing trousers on. We’re off:

Friday Night Music Club Vol 19

  1. Simian Mobile Disco – Cream Dream

I wanted to start off with a tune which fades in, and what better way than with this tune, with Super Furry Animals main man Gruff Rhys on vocals. Lifted from one of my favourite records of the last – *checks notes* This came out WHEN?? – erm, 13 years, Temporary Pleasures. It’s a must-own album, in my book.

2. Jon Carter – Go Down

First of two appearances this week from the former Mr Sara Cox. I seem to remember this having trouble getting clearance for the vocal sample; listening to it now, whilst I can totally see what he was trying to do with the sample, I’m not sure it completely works. That said, I can personally attest that when it got dropped at around 2am in The Emporium, played by Carter himself, and when it was still a work in progress well…when the breakdown happens and that vocal sample kicks in, I can assure you it sounded magnificent.

3. Happy Mondays – 24 Hour Party People (Jon Carter’s Acid Vocal)

Carter Part 2. This starts off sounding like it’s going to be Leftfield’s Phat Planet until Shaun WIlliam Ryder’s vocals echo out; a mix I will forever associate with Llŷr, for we were once just leaving the dancefloor at The Emporium when that vocal boomed out – and, as you will hear, until that happens there is not one clue as to what the track is going to be (so apologies for the spoiler), for Carter has stripped away the distinctive keyboard stabs from the original and replaced the wonky bassline with a whole load of acid-y squelches, bleeps and boings. We both turned at the same time, eyes and mouths wide in surprised delight, and raced each other back to strut our stuff.

4. Green Velvet – La La Land

Now, it’s no great secret just how Ryder and his band of baggy brothers achieved partying for (at least) 24 hours, and this tune starts off sounding like it’s going down the same route, extolling the virtues of “those little pills” until that killer line “until they kill a million brain cells”. A tune which I shall forever associate with my old mate Dum Dum, for reasons which are probably fairly self-explanatory, but which I’m certainly not going to discuss here.

5. Soulwax – E-Talking

For once, a Soulwax tune which isn’t a Soulwax remix. This is from their truly wonderful Nite Versions album, which contains duffers not one. We’re getting dangerously close to a theme here, what with the “It’s not you, it’s the E talking” refrain. A bona fide banger (as are the next few choons).

6. FC Kahuna – Nothing is Wrong

Speaking of wonderful albums, this is lifted from one which is always criminally overlooked, often forgotten, some might say: 2002’s Machine Says Yes. Lyrically, it answers the question about why people go clubbing: “…to stop myself from bouncing off the walls”. Lovely stuff.

7. Narcotic Thrust – Safe From Harm (K-Klass Remix)

I know no more about and own nothing else by Narcotic Thrust than this; the original mix is ok, but Welsh wizards K-Klass’ remix elevates this one to a position of greatness, giving it a funky-as-fuck bassline you simply can’t help but shake your bits to. Turn it up loud and feel that bassline.

8. Plump DJs – The Funk Hits The Fan

Speaking of wonderful albums (as I was, a few minutes ago, remember?) here’s another which is often forgotten and criminally overlooked: Plump DJs 2003 belter Eargasm. I once had the pleasure of catching these perform live, upstairs in the Attic at The Emporium in Cardiff, a room I was more used to seeing half empty but on this occasion it was absolutey rammed and the crowd were going totally wild for them. Assuming you still have it turned up loud from Narcotic Thrust, I defy you to resist the bassline on this one. Magnetic. (Oh, and as previously stated, apologies for the abrupt ending…but if Peelie could get away with it, so can I…)

9. Fake Blood – Fix Your Accent

Tremendous fun, this one. This was going to be their eardrum shattering Mars, until I listened to this and the intro reminded me of something, so Fix Your Accent got added and Mars got bumped to work, rest and play another day.

10. Spiller – Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)

The start of this tune is what I was reminded of by the start of the last. It’s always nice to bring things to a conclusion with something everyone knows. This, of course, features daughter of a Blue Peter presenter, look what she made earlier, Sophie Ellis- Bexter, who at the time had just left largely unsuccesful indie-wannabe’s theaudience (as they insisted on spelling it) and she was yet to embark on her immensely succesful solo pop career. I’m sure I remember reading an interview with her before Groovejet came out, saying how much she hated dance music, but I’m buggered if I can find it again, or indeed any reference to it, on the t’internet now. Anyway, assuming my recollection is sound (“…until they kill a million brain cells…”), then her beliefs went out the window the moment she got invited to provide the vocals for this #1 smasheroo, and indeed for the rest of her musical career. A place in the Cabinet surely awaits.

11. Ibibio Sound Machine – Something We’ll Remember

Something relatively new! I featured this lot a month or so ago elsewhere on these pages, and since then I’ve grown to love their Electricity album even more. Which, given the involvement of some of Hot Chip is hardly surprising.

12. Mansun – Wide Open Space (Perfecto Mix)

And to round things off – and it’s always nice to bring things to a conclusion with something everyone knows – here’s Paul Oakenfold doing what he does, which is either enhancing an indie favourite and introducing it to a whole new audience, or totally ruining a perfectly good tune by sticking beats and synths all over it, depending on which side of the fence you’re sitting. Me? I’m on the enhancing side. Just.

Anyway, that’s yer lot for this week. Hope you enjoy it.

More soon.

Friday Night Music Club

Right. Time for an explanation.

Tonight’s mix is not the one I had planned to post.

The one I had prepared was a little too upbeat for such a momentous weekend; whilst I personally won’t be joining in the nation’s mouring, I didn’t want to disrespect those that are.

And so I decided to create a mix “on the fly”; I decided what the first and last track would be, and then started recording as I journeyed from one to the other.

I tell you this instead of offering sleeve notes, as there will doubtless be those who think some of my selections are….disrespectful. That wasn’t the intention. The intention was simply to pick tunes which sounded good next to each other – any which may seem to have been chosen as some sort of comment on any recent high profile passings are entirely coincidental.

Honest.

So let’s crack on, shall we?

(By the way, because this mix is just shy of 2 hours, Google Drive can’t cope and won’t let me upload it, so the link below takes you to my old Soundcloud account. Hope it works ok!)

Friday Night Music Club Vol 18

  1. Beastie Boys featuring Miho Hatori – Start
  2. Cilla Black – Something Tells Me (Something’s Gonna Happen Tonight)
  3. Luther Vandross – Never Too Much
  4. Womack & Womack – Teardrops
  5. Gary Byrd & The G.B. Experience – The Crown
  6. Catatonia – Karaoke Queen
  7. Marilyn Monroe – Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend
  8. Madonna – Material Girl
  9. Annie – I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me
  10. Avril Lavigne – Girlfriend
  11. The B-52’s – Wig
  12. David Bowie – Queen Bitch
  13. Carole King – I Feel The Earth Move
  14. Eddy Arnold – I’m Throwing Rice (At The Girl I Love)
  15. Half Man Half Biscuit – Paintballs Coming Home (Andy Kershaw Session)
  16. The Ukrainians – Koroleva Ne Polerma
  17. Status Quo – Gentleman Joe’s Sidewalk Cafe
  18. Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve – Midas Reversed
  19. Barry Adamson – Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Pelvis
  20. Pulp – Mis-Shapes
  21. China Crisis – King in a Catholic Style
  22. Doves – Kingdom of Rust
  23. Black Grape – Tramazi Parti
  24. Beck – E-Pro
  25. Nirvana – Lithium
  26. PJ Harvey – 50ft Queenie
  27. Pixies – Planet of Sound
  28. Supergrass – Richard III
  29. Gene – We Could Be Kings (Single Edit)
  30. The Teardrop Explodes – Treason
  31. The Stranglers – Everybody Loves You When You’re Dead
  32. ? & The Mysterians – 96 Tears
  33. Inspiral Carpets – Dragging Me Down
  34. The Jam – Town Called Malice

That should keep you occupied for a while.

More soon.

Friday Night Music Club

It’s Friday night (at least it is here in the UK), and not just any old Friday night. Nosireebob. This Friday night is the best type of Friday night: the type that kicks off a Bank Holiday weekend. Hoorah! No! Work! Til! Tuesday!

So here’s your weekly 60 minutes or so of tunes curated and mixed by yours truly into some semblance of a coherent playlist. As is often the case, it’s a slow burner at the start, before we get into some tunes that should make you want to dance and/or sing, before we have a little break so you can have a nice sit down for a bit before we’re up and at ’em again for the last few choices.

So, with the usual apologies for a couple of skips and jumps which happened either during the recording or uploading process, let’s get your weekend started:

Friday Night Music Club Vol 17

Look out, here comes your tracklisting (complete with sleeve notes):

I’ve been on a bit of a Paul Fab-Macca-Wacky-Thumbs-Aloft McCartney trip since his headlining slot at Glastonbury this year, so I thought this, from “the band The Beatles could have been”, would be quite a nice way to kick things off this week:

  1. Wings – Let ‘Em In

This is one I’ve been meaning to have as an opening track on one of these for a while, simply because the title fits the mood of things. And also because of Simon’s unintentionally hilarious, trying to sound hip, description of him popping “outside to smoke myself a J”. Oh, you are outrageous, Paul!

2. Paul Simon – Late in the Evening

There’s no Bowie this week, so I figured a bit of T. Rex would be the next best thing. I try to avoid posting the obvious, famous ones when I’m doing these playlists, but sometimes it the obvious, famous ones which are just screaming out to be included. I couldn’t resist:

3. T. Rex – Get It On

There’s no Bowie this week, so I figured a bit of Suede would be the next best thing.

4. Suede – The Drowners

There’s no Bowie this week, so…oh wait, that doesn’t work with this one. Bring on the lovely Ms Wener and her Sleeperblokes!

5. Sleeper – Nice Guy Eddie

I wanted to pick the tempo up a bit more here, and the Kaisers doing their standard “Woah! Woooah! Woooooaaaaaaah! Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooah!” routine seemed as good a way as any:

6. Kaiser Chiefs – I Predict a Riot

Contrary to popular belief, Kula Shaker didn’t just release ropey singles. When they weren’t referencing Hinduism or dropping covers of Deep Purple singles, they managed to release at least one decent one:

7. Kula Shaker – Hey Dude

There’s no effin’ & jeffin’ warning on this week’s playlist, but let’s be honest, genius that he was, can we ever be sure exactly what Mark E. Smith was singing all the time? Sacrilege, I know, I know. Chances are we’re on safe ground here, though, with this blistering cover of an old Tommy Blake number:

8. The Fall – F-‘oldin’ Money

If I ever had to name a band that had single-handedly introduced me to the most other bands, then it would be The Wedding Present, via their dazzling array of cover versions. This one cropped up on as an extra track on their 1994 single Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah, and it’s easy to see – and hear – what drew Mr Gedge to it:

9. Paul Revere & The Raiders – Him Or Me – What’s It Gonna Be?

This next one is included purely because the intro to it reminded me of the Paul Revere tune, although now I listen to them both, I’m really not sure why:

10. The Monkees – Last Train to Clarksville

I had the pleasure of catching this next lot at Glastonbury back in 2010, playing in the Acoustic Tent (I think); there was only about 15 people there to see what was a blistering set, which was fine for us as there was more room to wig out in; it was probably a little disheartening for the band to have to play to such depleted numbers though.

In the context of this mix, this is a bridging song, by which I mean one which links nicely with what follows, as I slow things down for a bit. The fact that it has the word “Train” in the title is entirely coincidental, a theme is not about to emerge:

11. The Woodentops – Love Train

There’s no effin’ & jeffin’ warning on this week’s playlist, but you should ensure any minors’ eyes are averted from the saucy old name of this band. Time to put your feet up and have a breather for a bit:

12. Starfucker – Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second

I’m genuinely surprised when I hear that this R.E.M. track isn’t universally loved. Sure, it’s from the first post-Bill Berry album Up, which is patchy at best, but I think this is a rare moment of beauty from the band’s late period of ever decreasing circles and diminishing rewards:

13. R.E.M. – Suspicion

Ok, I’ll admit it. There’s another reason I picked that R.E.M. tune: for some reason which I can’t quite fathom, it pleased me greatly to have that song title next to this one. Maybe it’s because it then echoes Supernatural Superserious, the lead single from their Accelerate album. I dunno. Maybe. Does it matter?

Anyway, should you ever you get chance, check out some of the footage of Stevie playing this one when it was released back in 1972; he looks as cool as cool can be:

14. Stevie Wonder – Superstition

We’re on to the home straight now, and Stevie acts as the first part of a pair of Seventies classics used to book-end a couple of belters from the Eighties. No further notes required, I think:

15. New Order – True Faith

16. Pet Shop Boys – Heart

17. The Jackson 5 – I Want You Back

That’s yer lot til next Friday, although all of the previous mixes should be available to download should you need a long varied soundtrack for your Bank Holiday weekend BBQs. Fill your boots.

Oh, and: More soon.

Friday Night Music Club

A little later than usual this week, not that I think anyone actually listens to these on a Friday Night.

My apologies for that, and for the lack of much preamble or sleeve-notes this week. I will explain why at some point over the weekend.

All I will say is that this week, it’s guitars all the way, with some 70s, 80s and 90s classics, a couple of jokes in the running order, and a few tunes you’ll either have never heard before or will have not heard for so long you’ve forgotten all about. With good reason, some might say.

And no need for my usual admin disclaimer about any mixing gaffes, since this week the cross-fader stayed resolutely here again:

(I’ll be honest, I’ve not had chance to listen to this one; if there’s loads of skips and jumps I’ll redo it, and remove this sentence).

So, we’ll dive straight in – here’s this week’s mix for you:

Friday Night Music Club Vol 16

Track-listing:

  1. The Jam – Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
  2. Elvis Costello & The Attractions – Pump It Up
  3. The Boomtown Rats – Rat Trap
  4. The Beat – Mirror In The Bathroom
  5. The Look – I Am The Beat
  6. Idlewild – When I Argue I See Shapes
  7. Symposium – Farewell To Twilight
  8. Shed 7 – She Left Me On Friday
  9. The Rezillos – Top Of The Pops
  10. Buzzcocks – I Don’t Mind
  11. The Undertones – My Perfect Cousin
  12. King Kurt – Destination Zululand
  13. Tenpole Tudor – Swords of a Thousand Men
  14. Salad – Drink The Elixir
  15. Shocking Blue – Send Me A Postcard Darling
  16. Orange Juice – Felicity
  17. My Life Story – Strumpet
  18. Super Furry Animals – Play It Cool
  19. Belly – Now They’ll Sleep

More soon.

Friday Night Music Club

Without wishing to bang on about my tech issues yet again, were it not for the heat preventing me from sleeping, there may well have not been a shiny new playlist for you tonight.

I know, how ever would you have coped, right?

So my laptop continues to play tricks on me, seemingly picking a random program to banjax. This week, it was my mixing software program, which decided to crash every time it got to a certain song. Every one’s a critic.

And then, when I’d finally sorted that out, I managed to make an absolute hash of one the mixes, which really annoyed me as I thought I’d got all of the rest spot on.

So I practiced the one I messed up, got it right (Hoorah!) then got one of the later ones wrong (Hurroo!). And so it went on and on.

If I told you that I have listened to the opening song of tonight’s mix 19 times before something went tits-up later down the line, you’ll understand what I mean when I say that this mix, above any I’ve done, was a test of my patience, my will-power and my determination.

I hope you think it was worth it, and that by the end you’ll be dancing like nobody’s watching. Or, if you prefer, like the lady in the gif up top: dancing like everybody else is facing in the opposite direction, with good reason.

Disclaimer time (having listened to this mix as I was writing this and spotted a couple of blips that were nowt to do with me): any skips or jumps are down to the mixing software or the uploading process; any shonky mixes are down to me; all song choices are mine.

So let’s crack on, shall we?

Friday Night Music Club Vol 15

And here’s your tracklisting and sleeve notes:

Since I mentioned the song which got into a spot of bother by sampling tonight’s opening tune last week, it seemed only logical to post it:

  1. The Andrew Oldham Orchestra – The Last Time

With the sad passing this week of Lamont Dozier, it seemed only right to include something from the mighty body of work that is that of Holland/Dozier/Holland. Following on from the opening track, this seemed a natural follow up:

2. The Supremes – I Hear a Symphony

Not long after I moved to London, my mate Ferg (hello!) persuaded me to go to The Horatia, a pub on Holloway Road in North London, to see Greg Wilson DJing. Whilst I have to admit to not having particularly high expectations – “I play bars in North London, and I’m not very good – why should I pay to see this bloke I’ve never heard of?” I said. “Because you’ll love him,” replied Ferg, and my God he was right.

Here he is adding some extra oomph – not that any is needed – to The Third Degree’s cover of Duffy’s Mercy, a cover so good, so authentic, that many, including my good self, assumed that Duffy’s version must be the cover, which must have delighted her once she had escaped from her kidnappers:

3. The Third Degree – Mercy (Greg Wilson Re-Edit)

Keeping the groove going, another cover, this time by Sharon Jones, seemingly minus her Dap-Kings, although I suspect they are just uncredited, because this sure sounds like them:

4. Sharon Jones – I Just Dropped In To See What Condition My Condition Was In

And since we’re on cover versions by dead soul singers, here’s one by a much-missed performer who utilised the skills of the aforementioned Dap-Kings on her Back to Black album and then as her touring band:

5. Mark Ronson feat. Amy Winehouse- Valerie

Next up, one of a clutch of my favourite singles by an often-derided band, although the lead singer is a much beloved presenter on 6Music these days. I thought I’d go for one which doesn’t get an airing as much as the others. Cos that’s what I do:

6. Fun Lovin’ Criminals – Korean Bodega

Something new-ish next (by which I mean, released in 2020), by one of those bands who seem to have such a dull name, they’ll never show up on an internet search. Indeed, when I typed their name into Google, I got taken to a forum discussing the current manager of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club:

7. Pottery – Texas Drums Pt I & II

The mix of the next song is not the one that I wanted to post. Somewhere on some mix CD buried in a box I have a really great version with a female vocal on it. But can I locate it, or find the version in question online? No. So, you’ll have to make do with Tom Middleton, who adds his trademark spacey whooshing and swirling noises to this classic that the Orbital boys released under a nom de plume:

8. Golden Girls – Kinetic (Tom Middleton 2008 Remix)

Time for an old skool banger, or, as they were known round our way back in Cardiff, a City Hall Classic:

9. K-Klass – Rhythm Is A Mystery

Kate Bush is very en vogue again at the moment, thanks to the inclusion of her 1985 hit, Running Up That Hill, in Netflix’s nostalgic sci-fi hit Stranger Things. Here, then, is the Utah Saints sampling and snipping La Lady Bush:

10. Utah Saints – Something Good (Van She Tec Mix)

I need to wean myself off Soulwax, for they seem to appear in the majority of the mixes I do in one way or another. True to form, here they are again:

11. MGMT – Kids (Soulwax Remix)

I’ve gone remix-crazy this week; next up is Superchumbo making the bassline on an already quite dirty Basement Jaxx tune utterly filthy:

12. Basement Jaxx – Get Me Off (Superchumbo Supergetoff Remix)

And somehow, this song seemed a fine and natural way to round things off for another week, and so imagine my delight when I found it could be mixed into the Basement Jaxx tune, despite it being in no way a club banger:

13. The Cure – Let’s Go To Bed

Footnote: I’ve only realised as I wrote this that if one were to read the last three titles alone, without the mention of any remix, it doesn’t paint a great picture of yours truly.

Kids. Get Me Off. Let’s Go To Bed.

Please don’t put me on a sex pest register.

More soon.

Friday Night Music Club

After having stated numerous times over the past few weeks that I try not to make these mixes themed, saving those for the occasional airing over at JC’s place, a themed mix is exactly what tonight’s is, although it’s a very loose theme that you may not have even noticed had I not been stupid enough to mention it.

I was thinking the other day about how I often bang on about when I started DJ’ing when I was at college, taking over the fortnightly Indie Disco at the beginning of my second year, which was way back in 1989. And I thought it might be rather nice to do a playlist of the sort of things we used to play, until the Madchester scene exploded and changed 80% of our playlist (for the better; the night was dying on its arse until we were saved by the lads and lasses in hoodies and massive flares).

So that’s what tonight’s mix is: a load of tunes from around the time when I started, some from a little earlier, some I must admit, from a little later. Also, I’ve tried to avoid some of the big hitters – so no Smiths, Cure, Echo & The Bunnymen. But I’ve tried to recreate how an hour of our Indie nights generally sounded back way back when.

Also, in a change to normal, instead of just giving you a tracklisting, I’ve added some sleeve notes for you. Cos I’m nice like that. I might carry that on, we’ll see.

Anyway, chocks away, here we go:

Friday Night Music Club Vol 14

  1. The Stone Roses -Bye Bye Badman
  2. The Chesterfields – Two Girls and a Treehouse

I’ve kicked off with these two as a tip of the hat to the guy I first started DJ’ing with, a lad off my course named Danny Sweeney. He would always try to squeeze these in because “nobody else plays them”. Danny was sensible enough to stop DJing after a year so that he could focus on his course as it entered it’s final year; I was less sensible, stood for election for the post of Social Secretary, DJ’d loads more, and ended up having to retake my final year, adjudged to have failed the course because, although I passed all the exams and coursework, I hadn’t turned up to enough lectures. Not that I’m still bitter about it or anything, thirty years later, you understand.

3. The Darling Buds – Shame on You

Because of the size of the venue (400 capacity), we would often get little-at-the-time bands, on their way up. The Darling Buds played one Friday night; a day or so later I was talking to two blokes who were absolutely astounded that we’d had a band on who they saw on Going Live! (or whatever the Saturday morning live show on the BBC was called at the time) the next day.

The Darling Buds were one of a clutch of indie bands fronted by blonde female singers – see also The Primitives and Transvision Vamp. They were also the first band I ever met; my mate Keith and I being permitted access to the dressing room after the gig, where the band (and lead chanteuse Andrea in particular) studiously ignored us for about fifteen minutes until we sloped off with our tails between our legs.

4. The Wonder Stuff – Unbearable

Because the Indie night was not exactly the hottest ticket in town, you tended to notice and recognise most people there. And so it was that Keith and I took pity on one lad, who was always on his own. We invited him to join us, which he did. Soon afterwards, we realised why he was always alone: he was exceptionally dull. But now he thought we were his friends, so whenever we arrived he homed in on us like the world’s most boring missile. Burned into my memory is the time this tune, with lead Stuffie Miles Hunt at his sneering best, got played; we all danced, but Keith, unkindly in my opinion, kept singing the chorus in the lad’s general direction at first, and right in his face later. Fortunately, he just thought Keith really liked the song.

5. The Fall – Mr Pharmacist

Some big-hitters I just can’t leave out, and having mentioned Miles Hunt’s sneering, it seemed only right to post something by the late great Mark E. Smith, who seemed to have his upper lip permanently set to curl.

6. Sandkings – All’s Well With The World

Remember Babylon Zoo? Once upon a time, they had a few seconds of their record Spaceman used in a jeans advert, resulting in it being catapulted to the top of the charts, as was the way of the world back then. Problem was, the few seconds used in the ad were by far the best thing about the record, which swiftly descended into one of the dullest turgid drones ever to grace the charts at all, let alone the coveted #1 position. Well, this is the band that Babylon Zoo’s Jas Mann was in before he briefly found fame, and this is loads better than Spaceman. Around the time, many bands were trying to sound like either The Smiths or R.E.M.; this falls into the latter category.

7. Milltown Brothers – Never Come Down Again

Speaking of bands trying to sound like R.E.M., that was an allegation often levelled at this lot. I can kinda see what they meant, although it’s not a comparison I would have made myself. This is ace though, in an of-its-time way.

8. The Family Cat – Steamroller

Contains a really great loudQUIETloud section which is so good they repeat the trick later on, stretching out the elastic of the QUIET bit for so long that when it eventually twangs and the loud crashes back in again, the joyous rush it brings still gets me every time all these years later. Play it loud.

9. The Wedding Present – Don’t Laugh

Okay, okay, another from a big hitter, but this is one of the extra tracks from the Nobody’s Twisting Your Arm 12″, each of which is an absolute belter, detailing, as Wedding Present songs so often did, relationships on the cusp of breaking, or which have just gone over the edge. Gedge at his bitterest best.

10. Kingmaker – When Lucy’s Down

Because those few people who actually remember Kingmaker generally remember them for Ten Years Asleep, and not for this little beauty. Which is rather sad.

11. That Petrol Emotion – Hey Venus

Because many people think that the former Undertones only ever had one decent tune (Big Decision), and they’re wrong because this is pretty great, if a little poppier, too.

12. The Waltones – Bold

The Waltones should have been huge. But having tip-toed to the very verge of being popular, Madchester happened and suddenly their brand of jangly indie pop had fallen down the pecking order. Them’s the breaks.

13. James – How Was It For You?

The song which, along with Come Home, laid the foundation for their less-folky, more-stadium sound, before Sit Down was re-released for the umpteenth time and became the smasheroo we all know and love/hate (delete as applicable).

14. Inspiral Carpets – She Comes In The Fall

Still stands the test of time this one, in my book. Also in my book: the Inspirals were one the best singles bands of the late 80s/early 90s. Moo!

15. The Motorcycle Boy – Big Rock Candy Mountain

Just as C86 darlings The Shop Assistants had tickled the fancy of indie tweesters up and down the land, lead singer Alex jumped ship and formed The Motorcycle Boy. This is by far the best thing they ever did.

16. The Sundays – Can’t Be Sure

Oh, Harriet *sighs*.

17. World Of Twist – She’s A Rainbow

Long before The Verve, and around the same time as Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine felt the wrath of Jagger and Richards legal team, World of Twist released this rather wonderful cover of the Stones’ classic. They were sensible enough to dodge the lawsuits by remembering to credit the wrinkly wonders as songwriters though.

And that’s your lot, til next week.

More soon.

Friday Night Music Club

“Unlucky for some: thirteen.”

If you’re reading this then Congratulations! You managed to survive the week without either melting or spontaneously combusting, and your reward is another all new mix, Volume 13 in case you’re keeping count (and wondering what the bingo reference at the top of the page is). And yes, I am annoyed I couldn’t find an image of a bingo caller holding up the number 13.

“And what do you have in store for us this week?”, I hear you rasp through bone-dry throats.

Well, we kick off with a record which to these ears is synonymous with a chart countdown, for before Top of the Pops had Phil Lynott’s Yellow Pearl or Paul Hardcastle’s The Wizard as a theme tune, it had CCS’s version of Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love, a record which still provokes a Pavlovian reaction in people of a certain age, in the same way that the Pearl & Dean advert immediately makes us want to buy an ice cream and throw jelly babies at the dweebs in the front row of the cinema.

Then we’re straight into Camera Obscura’s hymn to the man who used to front The Commotions, and you’ll be surprised to learn that I don’t follow that up in the obvious way, but instead offer up some Divine Comedy, some Franz Ferdinand, my second favourite Killers record (no, it’s not Mr sodding Brightside, or that dreadful one about not being a “souldier”, whatever that’s supposed to mean) before John ‘Potty Mouth’ Grant earns one of these all by himself:

After that, we’ve some Roxy Music, some Charlatans, a bit of Bassomatic, followed by some songs inspired by watching recent reruns of Top of the Pops, neatly dodging some fisticuffs between Jimi Hendrix and the BMX Bandits over the affections of an Aussie pop-queen, before we head back to Indieland courtesy of Ride, The Mighty Lemon Drops and The Damned.

Rollicking good fun, in other words.

Which just leaves me to do the admin: any skips or jumps are down to the mixing software; any mis-timed mixes are down to me; all record selections are mine.

Here you go:

Friday Night Music Club Vol 13

Track-listing time:

  1. CCS – Whole Lotta Love
  2. Camera Obscura – Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken
  3. Felt – Ballad Of The Band
  4. The Divine Comedy – Becoming More Like Alfie
  5. Franz Ferdinand – Darts of Pleasure
  6. The Killers – Bones
  7. John Grant – Chicken Bones
  8. Roxy Music – Street Life
  9. The Charlatans – Over Rising
  10. Bassomatic – Fascinating Rhythm (7″ Mix)
  11. East 17 – Deep (Breath Mix)
  12. The Age Of Love – The Age Of Love (Jam & Spoon Remix)
  13. Gloworm – I Lift My Cup
  14. Kylie Minogue – Better The Devil You Know
  15. The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Foxy Lady
  16. BMX Bandits – Kylie’s Got A Crush On Us
  17. Ride – Taste
  18. The Mighty Lemon Drops – The Other Side Of You
  19. The Damned – Eloise

And just in case that’s not enough for you, regular readers of JC’s legendary The Vinyl Villain blog will know that he has been kind enough to post another exclusive mix I lovingly prepared for him, this one on a summery theme. If you’re not a regular reader of JC’s legendary The Vinyl Villain blog then a) why not? b) what’s wrong with you? and c) you can rectify that immediately by popping over and seeing what I (and JC the rest of the time) have been up to here. And my many thanks to everyone who has left kind messages about the mix which is posted over there, they are truly appreciated.

No, I’ve just got something in my eye, s’all…

Now get out of here before I decide to post some Quo as a thank you.

More soon.

Friday Night Music Club

Well done to you all, you completed another level in this game that we call life, and got through the week relatively unscathed (I hope).

Your reward this week is yet another all-new mix courtesy of yours truly. I know, I know, I’m too ruddy kind for my own good.

What have we got for you this week? Well, we kick off with John Lydon taking a break from advertising butter, waxing lyrical about Donald Trump and generally being a living, breathing caricature of himself, by popping by to say “Hello!” (although he practically scowls it, rather than saying it), followed by the second best record I own which samples the late great Bill Hicks, then a track by a guy I once saw about 15 years ago supporting Los Campesinos! (he was incredible, all guitar effects pedal, looped beats and other electronic gizmo-ness I can only explain like this: imagine if Ed Sheeran was entertaining and had something to say), then we’re off on a bit of a vegetable tip with Dan le Sac & Scroobius Pip and Kate Nash, followed by a side-swipe at the vacuous world of celebrity, topped off with a couple of classic old garage rock numbers which have been covered with much more success than they managed, a tune by one of the groups who recorded the more famous version of one of them, then a song responsible for probably my most favourite appearance on Top of the Pops ever, then a bit of Julian Cope and his bendy microphone stand, an overlooked rave-era classic before we’re back safely ensconced in the arms of Mr Lydon again.

There’s a modicum of swears on this one, so best I wheel out the ‘Effing and Jeffing Warning Sign’ for an airing:

Admin time: any skips or jumps are down to the mixing software; any mis-timed mixes are down to me; all record selections are mine, all mine, and you can’t take them away from me, okay?

You can, happily, download or just stream this though:

Friday Night Music Club Vol 12

And here’s your track-listing:

  1. Public Image – Public Image Limited
  2. Freeland – We Want Your Soul
  3. Napoleon IIIrd – Hit Schmooze For Me
  4. Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip – Cauliflower
  5. Kate Nash – Pumpkin Soup
  6. Kirsty MacColl – Fifteen Minutes
  7. Paris Hilton – Stars Are Blind
  8. Saint Etienne – Who Do You Think You Are
  9. Lily Allen – The Fear
  10. The Bobby Fuller Four – I Fought The Law
  11. The Strangeloves – I Want Candy
  12. Bow Wow Wow – Go Wild In The Country
  13. Adam Ant – Goody Two Shoes (Chris Hughes Single Mix)
  14. Julian Cope – World Shut Your Mouth
  15. Sunscreem – Pressure
  16. Leftfield/Lydon – Open Up (Full Vocal Mix)

Hope you kids have fun with this one.

More soon.