Google+
A slice of 90s orchestral pop

A slice of 90s orchestral pop

How did this pass me by? It’s 2013, and here I am, about to write about a tune which was released in 1995. But, thanks to you lot, I never even knew about this until last year. Thanks a bunch. As I sat down in January to compile my list of top albums for 2012, […]

Of Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix and Gil Evans

Of Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix and Gil Evans

Ron Carter is high up there. His contribution to the world of music is indisputable. Some of Herbie Hancock’s finest recordings – including Maiden Voyage and Empyryan Isles – were graced by the genius of his bass work. He was there when it mattered, alongside Miles, as a new age in jazz was dawning. I […]

2012: Top ten albums

2012: Top ten albums

Let’s get this out of the way: the best music from 2012 came not from new blood, but from established artists. Fine, there are some exceptions, but as a general rule, last year some comparatively old dogs absolutely nailed it. *braces self for onslaught of not-so-constructive feedback* As ever, picking ten albums is really tough. […]

Janice Graham Band: All hail the new Specials.

Janice Graham Band: All hail the new Specials.

I’m a long-time aficionado of Acid Jazz Records. Birthplace of Galliano and Jamiroquai, home to The Brand New Heavies during their career-peak, and the arbiters of taste behind the Totally Wired series – Acid Jazz was more than a label during the early 90s. It was a movement. I was a fully signed-up fan. During […]

Expensive Northern Soul

Expensive Northern Soul

Feeling down? Here’s a musical cure. I’m not sure if I buy the story about this being The Most Expensive ‘45 Of All Time – but I do buy that it’s a slab of bang-on northern soul. And, if your day is tinged with even a hint of something not going in your favour, slap […]

Of magazines, Factory, and Cath Carroll...

Of magazines, Factory, and Cath Carroll…

I read an article last week that put forth – in surprised tones – that the main source for an introduction to ‘new music’ was the radio. I’ll be honest, this is no surprise to me at all. Whack on BBC 6 Music on any day of the week, at any time of the day, […]

Lee Fields = JB. The Expressions = The JBs.

Lee Fields = JB. The Expressions = The JBs.

I’m just going to put this out there: it’s going to take a lot – a lot – for an album to top ‘Faithful Man’ as the best of 2012. Lee Fields and The Expressions follow up to 2009’s ‘My World’ is an absolute stunner. As a slab of soul, it’s just immediate. Album opener […]

Creativity, with a pinch of 'Wellerness'

Creativity, with a pinch of ‘Wellerness’

I figured that ‘Starlight’ was an early indication of what was to come. It sounded like it was a track lifted straight off ‘Modernism: A New Decade’, the notorious final Style Council LP. I say this not by way of criticism – I love it when Weller shakes off the shackles that his fans place […]

Herbie Hancock: a chameleon

Herbie Hancock: a chameleon

I’m not a religious man, but I do have an almost unshakable belief that having a pint on a Friday night is one of life’s pleasures. Throw in a chat about music with a good mate over said pint, and you’ve got a winning formula for the end of a working week. A couple of […]

A place that I heard on the radio never sleeps

A place that I heard on the radio never sleeps

Oh, Time Out New York, sometimes you really do disappoint me. You take the populist line on artists (which I sometimes doubt you’ve ever even heard). You champion local bands, even if they’re ‘a bit bobbins’ (step forward, Javelin). And, fundamentally, you just don’t seem to have the same critical clout that you once did. […]

Now this is a bassline

Now this is a bassline

You know Cymande. No, you really know Cymande. They were pioneers of 70’s British funk. This isn’t why you’ll know them. Their solid output seems to just not be enough to have won Cymande recognition they deserve. They were sampled by De La Soul: this is why you know them. ‘Bra’ is a chuffing marvellous […]

What the world needs is more from Matt Deighton

What the world needs is more from Matt Deighton

Where is Matt Deighton? He should be one of the UKs most celebrated singer/song-writers, but instead he’s Missing In Action. His recording career has seen him cover a huge territory, from soulful pop to full-on psychedelic rock through to acid-tinged funk. The common thread is about as English as a pint of bitter – folk, […]