Cover Me – Number 34

tompetty

American Girl – Frank Turner

Originally by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Also covered by Everclear, Taylor Swift and The Goo Goo Dolls (amongst others)

The original was of course by Tom Petty and is currently 76th on the Rolling Stone magazines list of Greatest Songs Ever.  It is described by some as ‘Rocks greatest ever non hit’ (although it was a Top 40 hit in the UK) as it failed to chart in American on release and only just scrapped the Top 100 on its rerelease some eighteen years later.  The song is now forever perhaps tinged with sadness as it was last song ever sung live by Tom Petty – on September 25th 2017 a week before he died in Los Angeles.  It also worth noting that the riff in the original ‘American Girl’ sounds a lot like the riff that The Strokes used in ‘Last Nite’.

Frank Turner’s version is rather lovely, appears on his ‘Third Three Years’ album.  We love a bit of Frank Turner around these parts and he has become something of a TSOBO favourite although this is the first time he has appeared on the page.  Frank is a very prolific singer and songwriter and is known for his cover versions of classic rock staples.  Here are two more for you, both of which could have featured in this rundown

Live and Let Die

Born to Run

The A to Z of EP’s – S

swerve

S is for Swerve

This might get confusing, so please bear with me.  There are currently three bands out there called Swerve.  Two of them released a debut EP which was called ‘Swerve EP’, this post is about one of them and one of those EP’s.  But let’s dismiss the other band ‘Swerve’ first.

The third band is from Denver, Colorado and are a covers band.  They do country rock covers and that is pretty much all you need to know about them.  Now for the other two.

The first band called Swerve are from Los Angeles and originally began as a moniker for music created by Los Angeles native Greg Mahdesian and what was a solo project sound became a full band.  Their first EP was self titled – but this post is not about them either.

The second band called Swerve are from Birmingham and in 2016 they released their debut EP called ‘Swerve’ and it contains four tracks of sweaty blissed out indie euphoria.  The tracks are a heady mixture of shoegazing, lofi pop and punk.  Which when they blend them together, the result is a gorgeous spine rattling kind of sound.

Sadly like Monday’s act OhBoy! there appears to be very little chance of anymore new music from Swerve as their facebook page claims that they are ‘doing other things’.

Afterglow

Blue Sunset

Regress

Daydream

The A to Z of EP’s – R

ride

R is for Ride

By KT

I am in the car with SWC we are heading to Launceston for an all day meeting, neither of us are looking forward  to it.  He is driving and I am supposed to be giving directions to the venue.  We later drive past the venue five times which results in SWC swearing loudly out of the window at a bunch of schoolchildren who have the temerity to be crossing the road at the wrong time.

Before all that though we do have a nice chat as we drive down the A30, we talk about our favourite places in Cornwall, and are not surprised when we find out that Launceston is not on either of our list of Top ten places to spend a day in Cornwall.

Sennen Cove however, which is right down the pointy end of Cornwall, pretty much as far west as you get in the UK, is on both of our lists.  I spent a lovely four days in Sennen Cove when I was teenager.  We stayed in a B and B right on the beach that was perfectly round and I shared a room with my sister.  She was 15 at the time and it was one of the few times that she and I truly bonded as teenagers.  We took long walks across the endless sands, talking about things like boys, music, make up, clothes, we fed seagulls chips and listened to bands like The Farm on her Walkman.  On the third day we walked up to the sand dunes and she suddenly pulled out a packet of Benson and Hedges cigarettes and lit up.  I stood there opened mouth, shocked but at the same time I was bursting with pride because my sister was sharing a massively important secret with me and one which I promised on my life to never ever tell mum or dad.  Little did we know that mum and dad already knew because they themselves were standing about fifty away from us on their way to the village shop.  I still go there regularly, when I split with my first husband I went there with my mum, amazed at how little the place had changed, although there was now a small beach bar and the round house was now a small art shop selling stained glassed mirrors for vastly inflated prices, but the beach was still beautiful, a mile long oasis of calm.  A place where you can just walk and think.

I tell SWC this story somewhere near the junction for Tavistock and he tells me to find the song ‘Sennen’ by Ride on the iPod.  I’d never heard it before, but its beautiful, the lyric about “Need some space to be alone” sent shivers down my spine.

Unfamiliar

Sennen

Beneath

Today

The A to Z of EP’s – Q

quickspace

Q is for Quickspace

I kind of cheated if I am honest.  There I was in 1995 hanging around outside the New Band at the Reading Festival, I was trying to find out what time art rockers Delicatessen were on (they were headlining) when a bunch of people ambled onto the stage and around 2000 people suddenly turned up.  I decided to stay and watch because frankly I didn’t want to go and see Shed Seven on the main stage or the Bluetones on the Melody Maker stage.

The band were rapturously received, despite their songs being chaotic, shambling even, guitars were out of tune, vocals were yelped rather than sung, people swapped instruments, songs started and then suddenly stopped midway through.  None of that mattered.  Then around forty minutes later they were gone.  I grabbed a passing kid and said “What was that crazy sound?”.  He looked me square in the face, pausing only to wipe sweat from his face and said

“Quickspace Suposport, mate” then he legged it.   Twenty minutes later I met up with a few mates and told them that I had just seen a great band over at the New Band Tent, a band that I’d obviously heard of and had been meaning to check out for ages.

For those in the dark like I was back then, Quickspace Suposport formed in late 1994 from the ashes of the Th’ Faith Healers, a band I actually saw at the London ULU in 1991 supporting The Family Cat and Carter USM, but had forgotten about.  They are pretty much the brainchild of one Tom Cullinan but featured numerous others on record and live.

In 1995 they dropped the ‘Suposport’ bit of their name and just became Quickspace and in 1996 they released the wonderful Rise EP

Rise

Docile

Riseteen Sixtynine

The A to Z of EP’s – P

peace

P is for Peace

Peace were once upon a time supposed to spearhead a new wave of brilliant up and coming bands from Brimingham.   The music press called this movement BTown and then sat back and slapped themselves on their collective backs at their collective genius.  Largely BTown didn’t really go anywhere and faded away as quickly as it appeared but the one thing it left behind was that Peace were serious contenders to the indie throne.

Their ‘Delicious’ EP arrived in September 2012 they quickly earnt comparisons with the likes of Foals and ‘This Is Hardcore’ era Pulp and very quickly the words ‘future of indie’ were bandied around.  It is easy to see why there was the sudden excitement.  The EP’s opening track ‘Ocean’s Eye’ is the one that draws the Pulp comparison, albeit they don’t quite have the same levels of roguish charm at Cocker and co.  It actually sounds more like ‘Country Girl’ era Primal Scream if you ask me.  Meanwhile second track ‘Bloodshake’ is the one that sounds like Foals, all twitchy guitars and vocals about spitting blood.

But it is the closing track that is the real triumph, and you’ll have to hear it to believe it, because it is a cover version.  It is not just any cover version though.  They take Binary Finary’s trance classic ‘1998’  and turn it into a post rock monster that clocks in at nearly ten minutes.  It builds and teases before suddenly bursting into a storm of cymbals and wailing.  It is amazing.  Think LCD Soundsystem larking about with Kraftwerk and Pink Floyd and you are somewhere close.

Ocean’s Eye

Bloodshake

California Daze

1998 (Delicious)

The A to Z of EP’s – O

ohboy

O is for OhBoy!

OhBoy! was of course the phrase uttered by astronaut Sam Beckett at the end of every episode of Quantum Leap, usually when Sam found himself in a tricky situation linked to the person who he had just leaped into.  Incidentally the final ever episode of ‘Quantum Leap’ called ,Mirror Image’ is one of the greatest moments of television ever recorded, if you haven’t seen it, go watch it, now.

OhBoy! the band are a five piece from Northampton who formed from the ashes of The Departure and New Cassettes back in 2012.  Wikipedia will tell you that the band only released their debut single in 2016 but they did release a couple of EP’s before they were signed – self produced and released I would imagine.

Their snappily titled first release was EP#1 which was unleashed in 2014, it is an addictive blend of messy guitars and all over the place vocals.  They sound charmingly raw, slapdash even, but it is bloody excellent either way

There are three tracks on the EP, the pick of the bunch is ‘Classic Self Doubt’ which should by law have TUNE stamped all over it.  In 2016 they disappeared to record their debut album.  Then after a year of silence, a statement came out via their Facebook page which basically said that OhBoy! were no more.   Which is a massive shame.

Love and Other Difficulties

Hand to Mouth

Classic Self Doubt

The Full Seven Inches – Part One

clissold

Well sort of…

A few weeks back I picked up the last lot of records that have been gathering dust in my dads attic.  The last lot were two boxes of seven inch records – one black, one red.  The red box contains records that I purchased when I was very young.  For instance, inside it was the 7” single of the Ghostbusters theme.  It is likely that will feature on here very soon.  It also contains a load of old rubbish.

The black box contains mainly indie 7”’s there are a lot of Stone Roses records, a few Wedding Present 7”s, a few long lost tracks by long lost bands… Sensitize, anyone…? And over the next few weeks I’ll be pulling out one of them and posting about it or the band in question.

Which is where the sort of comes in…

The intention had been to burn the vinyl to mp3 – but having dragged the record player out of the cupboard this morning I have found that it has a problem and the needle arm thing is not working correctly, so I either need to get a new one or get it fixed.  Until then, you’ll have to make do with the remastered versions of these tracks instead of the crackly vinyl versions.  It also means that you won’t get the B Sides, unless I have them elsewhere (which is possible).

The first one out of the box was this

World Freak Show – The Levellers

A record that reminds me of two people, Sara, who has briefly been mentioned on these pages before under the Levellers Girl moniker and a guy called Tron.  Well he was called Anton but because he was a fully paid up member of the Communist Party, people called him Trotsky, which then got shortened to Tron.  He insisted on being called that.

It also reminds me of free festivals and the summer of 1994, where it appeared that the Levellers were mandated to play at every single free festival known to man, woman or beast.  Alongside bands that had been dubbed at the time by the music press as ‘squatrock’ bands like Tofu Love Frogs, The Sea and Back to the Planet.  At the time all these bands were pushing their hatred of something called the Criminal Justice Act, which basically outlawed free parties, hence the sudden explosion of them across the nations capital.

The slightly good thing about my record player being knackered is that you will get the album version of World Freak Show, which is superior to the 7” version which cuts off a good couple of minutes.  You won’t get the B side though which was called ‘What You Know’.  I can barely remember if that is a good or bad thing.  Instead have these two

Warning

Julie

The first was a distinctly anti CJA track and the second would have been the finest moment ever recorded by The Levellers, if they didn’t ruin it by featuring a set of bloody bagpipes.

Cover Me – Number 35

strawberry

Since Yesterday – Revolver

Originally by Strawberry Switchblade

Today is SWC’s birthday.  He doesn’t want me to tell you how old he is, he is younger than me but older than KT, you can work it out from there.  Happy birthday mate.

The original was of course performed by polka dot and bow loving semi goths Strawberry Switchblade and reached the Top Five back in 1985.  The original 12″ came with a cover version of its own, the bands version of ‘Sunday Morning’ by the Velvet Underground.  I haven’t heard that.

The Revolver version came on their debut album ‘Baby’s Angry’ and I happen to think is pretty lovely.  Revolver were one of those indie bands that looked like Ride, sounded like Ride and released records whose artwork could have been designed by Ride.  They were still good though.  My mate Justin loved them as well.  Then again he ended up in a Thai prison for dope smuggling so is probably an unreliable reference.

 Molasses

Heaven Sent An Angel

The A to Z of EP’s – N

neds

By SWC

This is a conversation I had with Badger a few weeks back.  I’m asking the questions, he’s being monosyllabic.

“Do you not own any EP’s by Nirvana”

“No”

“What about New Fast Automatic Daffodils?”

“No”

“What about The National? – You must own an EP by The National?”

“No”

“I know, New Young Pony Club – I mean they were terrible, but I know that you have one of their EP’s at home, I spilled tea on about three years ago after your cat scratched me on the arm”

“Yes, but I haven’t burnt it to Mp3”

“So…”

“Yup, afraid so”.

“Bugger”

Alas N is for Neds Atomic Dustbin and I can only apologise.

Aim

Grey Cell Green

Plug Me In

Terminally Groovy

The A to Z of EP’s – M

menace beach

M is For Menace Beach

By Badger

As far as I am concerned, any band that names themselves after rubbish 90’s computer games are contractually obliged to be brilliant.  I’ve done very little research into that statement, but I reckon its probably true.

Menace Beach are a supergroup from Leeds and by supergroup I don’t mean one that features Stevie Winwood and Flea from the Chilli Peppers.  I mean that they contain at least one member of Hookworms, Sky Larkin and Pulled Apart by Horses when they record – this is actually written in to council legislate in Leeds.  It is against the law up there to make a record unless you have some link somewhere to Hookworms.

Musically, this is two things, firstly, the shortest EP to have so far featured in this series (5 songs, just under 14 minutes) and second an excellent mixture of classic indie rock and modern shoegaze and by modern and by classic I mean that you could easily stick a pin into a page containing a date from each of the last twenty years and this could have been released in that year.  All cracked and psyched up pop that fizz along breathlessly.

Pick of the EP is the track ‘Honolulu’ which liberally borrows that buzzsaw guitar noise the Pixies made good somewhere at the start of the nineties and the closer ‘Cheerleader’ which laments a broken relationship by signing off with a massive wig out.  Great stuff

Fortune Teller

Honolulu

Where I Come From

Nervous 

Cheerleader