The Greatest Hits of Various Artists – Two

Trainspotting

Trainspotting Soundtrack

I was slightly obsessed with Trainspotting when it first came out. I was 16 going on 17 and for about six weeks it was pretty much all the youths were I lived were talking about. At this point in my life I was seeing a lad called Jonny. I say seeing I was kind of just snogging his face off at weekends but I thought he was cool because despite only being 17, he could grow a beard, and he had his own motorbike and even my Dad liked him because he was in the first XI at the local cricket club. I digress.

Jonny had seen the film with his mates and told us all about it, so Alice, me and a girl called Nikki all decided to go and see it that weekend. Nikki was relatively new to our crowd. Her parents had moved to the village about six months or so ago. She went to our school, she was tall, slim and devastatingly beautiful. I mean Alice and I could probably hold our own in the class, but Nikki, she was something else. On her first morning she walked into the class, skirt hitched up to an obscene length, and about four lads fell off the chairs as she stood there, smiling, coquettishly.

At the end of her second week she was suspended for two days after being found behind the staff room with a student teacher, she having convinced him to share a lunchtime cigarette with her. I digress again.

The first reason why ‘Trainspotting’ is memorable for me is because it was the first time I ever got into an 18 film. I was for some reason really worried about it. I’d been going to clubs and pubs regularly for about two months by now. The three of us queued up, doing our best to look like grown ups and breezed into the cinema. We weren’t the only ones, I spotted at least two other lads from our class in the cinema that afternoon.

The second reason was the ‘cold turkey’ scene. If there are any teachers reading, and it is your job to teach children the dangers of drugs then rip up the stuff that the government tell you to show them. Take twenty minutes and show them two things, firstly the overdose scene in ‘Trainspotting’

Perfect Day

And secondly show them the ‘cold turkey’ scene – the bit were that baby comes into things, that put me off all types of drugs for life. Seriously, it is probably in my opinion at least, the most realistic portrayal of addiction and withdrawal that has ever been seen in cinema.

The third thing that stood out in ‘Trainspotting’ was Diane. For the next five years at least I wanted to be Diane. She was cool, she went to clubs on her own, she drank, she smoked, she shagged strangers. She was perfect. There wasn’t one guy who saw ‘Trainspotting’ that I knew that didn’t fall in love with Diane. Not Kelly MacDonald, but Diane. I also wanted the dress that she wore when she first met Renton.

And finally, obviously, there was the music. In 1996, Britpop was King, where I lived at least. The soundtrack had everything. It had Pulp, it had Blur, it had Elastica and above everything it has ‘Born Slippy’ (although Johnny from above said that ‘Born Slippy’ was ‘a bit shit’).   It also had acts that I had never heard before – people like Iggy Pop.

It was a film that was almost outdone by its soundtrack. I’ve just listened to the soundtrack again whilst typing this and I can remember every scene where the music features.

Lust For Life

2:1

Where In the World? – Week Two – East India

North sentinel

Week two sees us on an island that is considered to be one of the most dangerous places on the Earth. No, not the isle of Sheppey but pretty close. Folks, welcome to North Sentinel Island.

North Sentinel Island is part of the Andaman Islands and part of East India and is home to the Sentinelese people who are among the last people worldwide to remain virtually untouched by modern civilisation. As a result of this very little is known about the place. Recent shaky film footage shows the islanders often violently reject contact with the modern world. They often chase off boats with spears and rumour suggests that in 2013 they killed some Somalian fishermen who ventured too close to the island. In 2017 this blog launched a Crowd Funded campaign to get Mumford and Sons to promote their new album live from the island.

The Indian authorities have stated that they have no intention to interfere with the habitat or lifestyles of the locals. Good on them if you ask me. The population of North Sentinel island is estimated to be around 40.

So we are not really there. Instead we are in East India Docks, an area of London.

East India Youth, who definitely featured the last time I ran this series, is the stage name of William Doyle from Bournemouth. Between 2014 and 2016 they released two albums of electronic synthpop with an indie tinge to it and by and large they were excellent.

In 2016, Doyle announced that East India Youth would be taking an ‘indefinite haitus’ from music. On a side note why do musicians say that all the time – its never “I quit, I thought I enjoyed this but I woke up this morning and realised that accountancy was much more my thing. Sorry”.

The hiatus is a shame because I happen to like East India Youth. Doyle continues to make music though, under his own name, which is bizarre because he basically was East India Youth. Still each to their own.

Looking For Someone

Hinterland

Carousel

My Favourite Album By…Ash

ash1

In reality ‘1977’ should be my favourite Ash album. But it isn’t. SWC thinks I am doing this to be controversial (it’s only my second week back, give me a chance mate). I’m not.

When Ash first announced themselves to the world they were terrific. Three shouty, punky lads from Northern Ireland who made indie pop anthems that barely lasted more than four minutes. Tracks that were indie disco staples for years to come. Their gigs were chaotic, full of youngsters throwing themselves all over the place, fuelled by alcopops no doubt.

‘1977’ arrived and Ash were on the cusp, the brink of world superstardom, we all expected it, anticipated it. We all sat eagerly awaiting their next step.

Then it arrival and it was, a bit crap. ‘Nu – Clear Sounds’ I think it was called. An album largely devoid of tunes but I bought it, played it once and then consigned it to the ‘Meh’ drawer. As I did it I heard a noise in the background. It was Ash’s bubble bursting.

Fast forward two years and enter ‘Free All Angels’ or rather enter ‘Burn baby Burn’. I was in the Exeter branch of Virgin Megastore (remember them?) when I first heard ‘Burn Baby Burn’. I was looking for a Sopranos DVD if I remember rightly, and it came on the instore radio station.

Ten minutes later I was at the desk and making idle chit chat with the guy (who I knew quite well) behind the counter. I mentioned that the Ash single sounded really good and he said, “They are playing here in two weeks”. It was one of those in store appearance to promote this single. He showed me the poster which was he going to put up later. Entry was limited to 500 by wristband only.

“You want a wristband?” he said, furtively looking around to make sure no one was looking. Absolutely.

Two weeks later, at the gig I was the oldest person there by about fifteen years but I didn’t really care. I jumped, I bounced, I sang as the band whittled through some newbies and a bunch of old stuff and absolutely nothing from ‘Nu Clear Sounds’. In 45 minutes it was over but it was breathless, brilliant and ever so slightly bonkers.

‘Free All Angels’ marked a return to form for Ash, the anthems were back, the energy was back, the bounce was back, the riotous sweaty gigs were back and best of all they appeared to have totally forgotten that ‘Nu-Clear Sounds’ was ever made.

Burn baby Burn

Candy

Shining Light

50 Songs About The Weather – Two

four tet

Sun, Drums and Soil – Four Tet

The first time SWC and Badger met my new husband was in a restaurant.  It was a leaving do or a retirement do to be more precise.  There was about twenty of us there and I was quite nervous about bringing him, considering that the last lad I introduced them to (twatty Dan, you may remember him) tried to punch SWC before falling into a hedge – I didn’t tell you that story did I?

Oh…

Well, after Dan said some rude things to me, we kind of had a few days of ‘reflection’ and then sort of patched things up.  A few months later I started a new job in the office next door to SWC and Badger and took Dan along to a work event – rounders – seriously it was shit. I mean really terrible, thirty or so pissed people trying to whack a ball and failing – apart from Mrs Badger who was incredible at it.  Anyone, after rounders some of us when to the pub across  the road and Dan got more and more drunk – in the car park afterwards he took a swing at SWC, (I think SWC called him a ‘terrific cockwomble’) missed and fell in a privet hedge.  And that folks is where I left him.  I have literally never seen him again.

Anyway back to the retirement do, everyone is getting on famously, because Dominic it appears is a normal human being and its all good fun.  Afterwards I ask Mr and Mrs SWC if they want a lift home, they do, as the train will take for ever.  In the car earlier Dom has put ‘everything ecstatic’ by Four Tet on – this song comes on when I start the engine.

SWC immediately compliments me on the choice and I say “It’s Dom’s…but it is very good”.  Dom leans back and tells the SWCs that Four Tet are one of his favourites and for the next thirty minutes or so Mrs SWC and I may have well had not been in the car.  It was like a drunk version of ‘Brokeback Mountain’ without the cowboys and the obvious homoeroticism that is.

The next day SWC sends me an email saying that ‘anyone who makes you like Four Tet is probably marriage material’.  I’d been seeing Dom for about six weeks.

Oh yes – songs about the weather – here is another track from ‘Everything Ecstatic’ that references something to do with the weather

Clouding

 

Five Songs by….Dan Deacon

dan

This week the iPod picks Dan Deacon for me.  I love Dan Deacon although I actually own very little of his music.  For those of you in the dark, Dan Deacon is a 36 year old composer and electronic musician from Baltimore.  His last two albums ‘America’ and ‘Gliss Riffer’ have been insanely brilliant.  Seriously, your life will be improved by just owning them.

Here then are the Five Most Played Dan Deacon tracks according to my iPod.

1 – Prettyboy – which is taken from ‘America’ his seventh solo album and for the first twenty seconds you can barely hear a sound – just a wee twinkle in the distance.  But wait for it, it builds and that twinkle grows and begins to sparkle.

2 – Guilford Avenue Bridge – also taken from ‘America’ and also just as marvellous as the track above

3 – True Thrush – again taken from ‘America’ and by far the most ‘pop’ single that Deacon has ever recorded.  Brilliant video as well if you find yourself bored for four minutes later on.

4 – Sheathed Wings – Taken from the latest album ‘Gliss Riffer’

5 – When I Am Done Dying – A rather morbid title to end with

And there you have it.  More Top Fives next Saturday.

 

No Hit Wonders – Mansun

mansun

Good Morning – welcome to the start of the competition to find the most unpopular song in the world, according to my iPod that is.

At the start of every piece for this series I will start with a recap.  That will look like this

Current Longest No Play – P.E.T.R.O.L – Orbital

Length of Time Unplayed – Four Years, Two Months, Nine Days.

Then I’ll introduce the next contestant – I’ll do this by selecting the next track that is played after P.E.T.R.O.L and replicate that over and over again.  Make sense.  Good.  There probably should be a rule or two in this but I haven’t thought of those as yet.  Let’s just see what happens, yeah?

Ok  here’s the next track unplayed and unloved by iPod.  It’s by Mansun, which you probably guessed by the title up there.

Taxloss – Mansun

Then we’ll have some stats, cos, I like stats.

Date Loaded 20th April 2016.

Which seems fairly recent to me, but then I remembered this CD was bought for me by Badger when we did our ‘Charity Shop Challenge’ after he found £20 in a book.  Before that the only Mansun tracks I had were ‘Wide Open Space’ and ‘Skin Up Pin Up’.

Mansun were for about two months one of those bands that looked likely to do something special.  I remember being given a 7″ of their debut single ‘Take It Easy, Chicken’.  It was one sided, hand written and kind of bloody ace in mock Oasis kind of way.  There was a buzz about them, and for a while the music kind of lived up to expectations.

Of course back then the name was ‘Manson’ and that had to change it to ‘Mansun’ and then they came out with some story about being influenced by ‘A Man Called Sun’ by the Verve.

‘Taxloss’ was the third or fourth single (I forget which) to be taken from their debut album ‘Attack of the grey Lantern’.  It is a good album well worth a purchase if you see one in a Charity Shop.

There are two other songs on ‘The Attack of the Grey Lantern’ which are No Hit Wonders

The Chad Who Loved Me

Mansuns Only Love Song

What I think is interesting is that these three are the first three tracks on the album – although I also think that it is only me that finds that interesting.

So Orbital say in the Winners Chair for now.

 

The Greatest Hits of Various Artists – One

happy

This was KT’s idea. So here…Oh you know the score by now.

The other day on Facebook, Alice my best friend in all the world posted a picture of her holding a copy of Now That’s What I call Music Vol 26. An album that I remember playing a lot when I was younger – it had ‘Creep’ by Radiohead on it but in contrast to that it also had 2 Unlimited and Haddaway on it.

It’s funny how a single side or track of a particular compilation can stick in the mind. SWC has written before about a compilation called ‘Happy Daze’ and about how everything on that album from the tracks chosen to the very order that they appeared – were perfect – or at least seemed that way at the time.

Whilst I told the boys about my reminiscing around ‘Now 26’ Side Three – Badger chipped in with a memory about Now 10 and how it remembers it containing ‘China In My Hand’ by TPau – yet he can’t remember a single other track on it. He only remembers it because he was listening to it on a Walkman and not looking where he was going and walked into a pillar box much to the laughter of the builders working directly opposite him at the time. Then every day for the next six weeks the builders would shout “Oi Watch Out Mate” every time he walked nearby. True Story. How the evenings must have flown by in Leeds in the late eighties – if indeed it was even then.

So this series is a celebration of the compilation album. Ones we love, ones we got for free off the cover of magazines or as presents, heck we’ll might even go down the ‘Mixtapes made for us by loved ones’ route. Possibly. Again there are some rules, well one, Greatest Hits albums do not count. The recorded artist has to be ‘Various Artists’ to count.

Big

Hippychick

Velouria

 

 

Where In the World? – Week One – The Alps.

the alps

This is inspired by Princess SWC’s new favourite TV programme – which is called the same thing. She only likes it because of the catchy theme tune to be honest. Many years ago in the first age of ‘WYCRA’ we had a series called ‘Place With A Name’ where we discussed bands that took their name or shared their name from a place on Earth. Well this is that series reborn repackaged and recycled in at least two places.

We’ll pick a band at random from a playlist of around 50 bands all of which share their name with a place somewhere on the planet. Some if you have yet to hear the brilliant new single by Croydon Dave and the Ferrets then stayed tuned!

I can’t remember which bands we covered on here last time so anything goes – we’ve been quite strict with the rules though. The place has to be exact – so we have omitted bands with words like British in the name (like British Sea Power).

Week One sees us off the mountains of Europe

Shot Down – Nine Black Alps

The alps are as you all know a mountain range that cross Europe taking in parts of France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Austria – they are very nice indeed and there is some excellent skiing, hiking, riding and cycling to be found there.

Nine Black Alps are a rock band from Manchester who take their name from a Sylvia Plath poem (if my mind correctly remembers my A Level English course). I own one album them (and none by Sylvia Plath – but thinking about it The Sylvia Plaths is a tremendous name for a band) – their debut one ‘Everything Is’ and is it actually quite good, in a 2003 kind of way.

Here is one more track from it
Cosmopolitan

And just for larks here is one track by Milk Maid a band formed by one of Nine Black Alps after he left the band, which I’ll say is not remarkably different from what he would have produced had he stayed where he was.

Not Me