Sunday, 29 November 2009

Like The Doors meets Snow Patrol! - I sense I'm not selling it to you...

Really? Yes, it really is me. I couldn't let the opportunity of the festive season pass without a quick update. Who cares? Well, I'm under the impression that you do. This is largely because since stopping writing this every week I am still getting between 20 and 30 people a day looking at it. Who are these people? Are they just slow readers who've been there from the start? Or are they re-readers, people who are making sure they know everything about my past life in case they meet me and want to freak me out. Or maybe it's just Google Analytics giving a bonus number to everyone's site so they don't ever experience the horrible truth of tumbleweed and anonymity. Although some of these stats are definitely real people because a lot of them have been requesting an MP3 for Wubble U's A Bit Like U which I raved about earlier in the year in Now That's What I Call Unrecouped. I've uploaded it here so you can stream it or even do something naughty with it.

I've had a lovely autumn and am enjoying a splendid winter. I've been as far away from the music business as you can imagine and it's been rather refreshing. From this distance the business looks kind of grim to me: Robbie Williams' record sounds like Gary Barlow, Oasis are no more, I can't even bring myself to listen to Dylan's Christmas album and still I don't sense that there are any great new groups out there who we can take to our hearts. Although having said that I had one of those lovely experiences in a record shop (can you guess which one?) the other day when I heard a back-of-neck-tickler I didn't know, followed by another one by the same artist. I asked the reassuringly surly bloke behind the counter who it was and discovered that it was an act I'd never heard of. It's on Chemical Underground but don't let that put you off - I don't mean to be flippant but all those worthy Scottish bands that Chemical Underground used to specialise in like Arab Strap, Mogwai and The Delgados systematically failed to grab me. And don't even get me started on Bis. But this album is fantastic - or at least three quarters of it is - it's like a cross between - oh Christ, here we go - a cross, I say, between the groove-based LA Woman period Doors with the melodic no nonsense of Gary Lightbody. I sense I'm not selling it to you, but do yourself a favour and check out Checkmate Savage by The Phantom Band. I've just noticed that Piccadilly in Manchester have voted it their fave of the year so I'm not completely out in the cold on this one.

Anyway what does Wardle know? - he's... well he's.... What does he do now? Nope, not saying yet. But one thing I will say is the book on album sleeves is out next year but you can preorder it on Amazon for next Christmas.

I'm not going to go on too long now because there are probably many things you would rather be doing than reading some tardy missive from an ex-A&R man. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and get to do all those things over your break that you've got piling up on the kitchen table. Or is that just me?

And because it's the season of good will, I've finally got it together to upload some of my Radio 4 broadcasts for you so you can relive their splendour and wit. So without further ado here are:

Phil Collins is Good!

Cars Go Pop



Happy New Year!