Birmingham news and blogs Friday 17 August 2018
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The Hearing Aid

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Aretha Franklin RIP 

16 Aug 18

As The Queen of Pop turns 60 The Queen of Soul goes to that great gig in the sky.

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The French – The Model 

14 Aug 18

No bargain CDs at the weekend but picked up a handful of 7 inch singles including this little ‘darkwave’ gem by The French with their cover of Kraftwerk’s The Model.

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Jake Shears – Big Bushy Moustache 

10 Aug 18

At last, a song devoted to moustaches.

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CD does it… 

10 Aug 18

The growing tsunami of bargain charity shop CDs continues to flood into Baron Towers at an alarming rate, but at anything from 25p – 50p each I just can’t help myself.

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All About Eve – What Kind Of Fool (Autumn Rhapsody) 

9 Aug 18

Sniff the air.

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Chaka Khan – Like Sugar 

3 Aug 18

I keep hearing this track and every time I do I think “Damn that’s some funky shit, who’s it by?”.

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Amyl and The Sniffers – Cup Of Destiny 

31 Jul 18

Okay, with a name like Amyl and The Sniffers this lot ain’t going to be a folk act are they eh? Nope, this is straight up old skool punk.

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BC Camplight – I’m Desperate 

25 Jul 18

Old BC’s been churning out some criminally underappreciated masterpieces for years now and his latest is yet another one.

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Electribe 101 – Talking With Myself 

24 Jul 18

Plucked a random box of records to listen to last Saturday night and struck memory gold with Electribe 101’s Talking With Myself.

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Now That’s What I Call Historical 

20 Jul 18

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in 1983 when the original Now That’s What Call Music came out I was just 13.

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Tom Jones / Into The Ark @ Powderham Castle, Sunday July 15th 2018 

17 Jul 18

It’s been a while since I’ve done a ‘big gig’ and this was probably the first time I’ve ever attended one of those increasingly popular ‘mega names in a posh place’ shows.

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Snooky Fest 2018 @ Warren Farm, Dawlish – Saturday July 14th 2018 

17 Jul 18

This might only be the second Snooky Fest but it’s already a firm favourite here at Baron Towers and, judging by our fellow festival goers we’re not the only ones.

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Doris – Did You Give The World Some Love Today Baby 

12 Jul 18

I gave up watching ‘the game’ after Croatia scored their first goal and spent the rest of the evening far more enjoyably by digging out some old tunes.

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I should be so Snooky, Snooky, Snooky, Snooky… 

10 Jul 18

Okay, Kylie might not be playing (although if she happens to read this I’m sure she’d be more than welcome to pop along) but this Saturday’s Snooky Fest bill is jam packed (obviously there’s cream UNDER the jam too, we do things properly here in …

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The Count & Sinden ft Mystery Jets – After Dark 

5 Jul 18

Bugger me, it’s been a while since I heard this one but for some strange reason it popped in to what’s left of my brain just now.

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Let’s Rock Exeter 2018 @ Powderham Castle, June 30th 2018 

3 Jul 18

As I probably said last year (and the year before) it might not be the coolest festival around (Black Lace anyone?) but for pure pop pleasure you’d have to go a long way to beat a Let’s Rock line-up, that is if you’re of a…

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For those about to Let’s Rock 

29 Jun 18

Almost time for Let’s Rock Exeter, another winningly random selection of the good, the bad and the ‘what the ruddy hell are they doing on the bill’ from the 80s.

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Whatever happened to…Guillemots? 

27 Jun 18

Just heard a track by Guillemots on 6 Music and wondered whatever happened to them? Old man Maconie said he’d heard from Fyfe recently who said new music was in the offing but I can’t find any confirmation of this online.

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It was 23 years ago today… 

21 Jun 18

Well, almost 23 years ago today.

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The Assist – All That I Need 

20 Jun 18

How’s this for an existential banger eh? Walsall’s very own The Assist are back with the kind of track that’s practically screaming out to be played in front of millions of festival goers all hugging each other, mashed off their tits on cider and …

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David Bowie – Little Wonder 

19 Jun 18

I was reading an article about underappreciated albums in some magazine the other night and Bowie’s Earthling cropped up.

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They think it’s all over…if only. 

15 Jun 18

Oh good grief.

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CD or nor CD…that is the question 

13 Jun 18

We’ve had the vinyl revival, we’ve had the tape revival but will there ever be a revival in CD’s fortunes eh? If you frequent charity shops as much as I do you’ll have seen the prices of CDs plummet in recent years.

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Babysnakes – The Reluctant Traveller…coming soon to Snooky Fest! 

12 Jun 18

Can’t believe it’s just over a month until Snooky Fest (huge congratulations to Snooky Fest’s Caz Steffans on her British Empire Medal in the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2018 by the way).

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Chungking – Making Music 

8 Jun 18

No Friday banger this week, more of a Friday chill out courtesy of Chungking and their criminally underrated classic Making Music.

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Olivia Midnight (Kids Interview Bands) RIP 

6 Jun 18

I never met Olivia, one of the original Kids Interview Bands interviewers, but I spent many a happy hour watching the interviews they did with bands great and small.

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Queen – I’m Going Slightly Mad 

5 Jun 18

For various reasons this track’s buzzing around my befuddled brain right now.

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Jobriath – Amazing Dope Tales 

1 Jun 18

How did I miss a whole album of unreleased Jobriath tracks coming out back in 2014? I blame old age.

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Tower of Power – You’ve Got To Funkifize 

31 May 18

Came across a lovely slice of vintage James Brown style funk courtesy of the mighty Tower Of Power whilst trawling through some of the squillion albums I’ve somehow accumulated over the past…

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Panatical – Get Lucky 

29 May 18

For various reasons I don’t get to see much live music at the moment so when I heard the distant sound of a steel drum version of Daft Punk’s Get Lucky drifting over the garden wall at Baron Towers I had to go and investigate.

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Parquet Courts – Wide Awake 

24 May 18

Here’s one for the file marked ‘Great singles by a band I’ve never had any interest in before and quite possibly won’t again’.

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Hot Hot Heat – Bandages 

21 May 18


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Soft Cell – L’Esqualita 

18 May 18

No idea why this track popped into my head wandering the beaches of Dawlish this morning but who knows how the human mind – especially mine – works eh? This is especially for anyone out there who thinks that Soft Cell only ever did Tainted Love.

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Gwenno – Eus Keus 

16 May 18

It’s still pretty rare to hear a track sung in anything but English on the radio these days so gwrys yn ta to Gwenno and 6Music for giving the Kerneweck language a chance.

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Cornershop – Brimful of Asha (DJ Ivan Scratchin’ Remix) 

11 May 18

Itttttttttttttttttttttttttt’s Friday.

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Michael Jablonka – Flump 

10 May 18

After yesterday’s excursion into glossy 80s jazz pop here’s something a lot rawer (and newer), Michael Jablonka’s latest release, Flump, a kind of rocky/bluesy bastard grandson of Hendrix and Nirvana with a little added glam for good measure.

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Julia Fordham – Where Does The Time Go? 

9 May 18

You can say that again Julia.

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Sunflower Bean – Twentytwo 

2 May 18

It’s been some considerable time since I was 22, 26 years on Monday in fact (yes, it’s my 48th birthday…

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Gallows – Orchestra of Wolves 

30 Apr 18

Trawling through an old hard drive the other week I came across some gig photos that I took years and years ago with the cheapest digital camera in the world.

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White Witches – This Song Will Kill You 

26 Apr 18

Sparks meets Steve Harley in a lock up garage just on the outskirts on Brighton, that’s as good a description as I can come up for White Witches’ new song taken from their even newer album Heironymus Anonymous, available to order right here right now…

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Mattiel – Count Your Blessings 

23 Apr 18

It’s Monday! Er…

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New beginnings for The Day Ends…live this Saturday! 

19 Apr 18

With a set that promises 19…

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Pete Williams @ The Rep Studio, Saturday April 14th 2018 

18 Apr 18

Me? At a real live gig? Yep, that actually happened.

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Pete Williams! Live! This Saturday! 

11 Apr 18

Attention Midlands based friends, the wonderful Mr Pete Williams is playing at The Rep Studio this Saturday evening April 14th and unveiling new songs – like this little beauty – from his forthcoming album.

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Sparks – Wonder Girl 

9 Apr 18

Currently reading a fine biog of Sparks, Talent Is An Asset, which prompted me to go snuffling about the darkest corners of the internet…

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Love Gotten – Bokito 

5 Apr 18

Wild Beasts may be dead and buried but if you like a little nuts in a nutcracker high voiced tropically tinged loveliness cop a listen to Love Gotten by BOKITO.

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Snooky Fest 2018! 

3 Apr 18

Chuffed to see that Snooky Fest is back on Saturday July 14th for a second year after a hugely impressive debut and early bird tickets are on sale right now for a frankly bargaintastic £15.

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Vitamin C – Can 

29 Mar 18

Well, it is from the album EGE Bamyasi…

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Cosmo Sheldrake – Come Along 

26 Mar 18

Heard this chap on Cerys’ show on 6Music a couple of weeks ago and meant to post it last week but, ya know, time and stuff.

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Easy Rippin – The Day Ends 

22 Mar 18

“EASY RIPPIN” by THE DAY ENDS from The Day Ends on Vimeo .

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The Fearless Flyers – Ace Of Aces 

20 Mar 18

How funking funky is this? Funking funky that’s how funky it is.

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Quantic & Alice Russell with the Combo Barbaro – Look Around The Corner 

15 Mar 18

Heard this again for the first time in ages on the ever reliable 6 Music yesterday and thought it deserved a quick post, especially as we could all do with its distinctly summertime vibe over the weekend when we’re apparently going to be blasted by …

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AKA George – Manic Machine 

14 Mar 18

AKA George (aka the artist formerly known as George Barnett) is back, back, back with a brand new single and, well, it’s a bit of an (Ed) banger (see what I did there…

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Can’t stop the weekend… 

9 Mar 18

After last week’s apocalyptic weather I’m looking forward to getting out and about this weekend so here’s a little blast of Red Hot Chili Peppers to kick things off.

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7 Mar 18

It’s been a long time coming sadly but today whichever global mega corporation owns the tattered remains of the NME has announced that it’s to stop printing any more copies after this week’s issue, effectively ending 66 years of music history.

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Rumba De Bodas – Freaky Funky 

2 Mar 18

It’s Freaky Funky Friday people! And thank Freaky Funky for that eh? If you’re UK based the chances are you’ve just endured some of the shittiest March weather since…

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Table Scraps – I’m A Failure 

1 Mar 18

A nice slice of slacker garage grunge to warm the cockles of whichever part of your anatomy might be frozen from Brum’s very own Table Scraps! Right now I’m a failure at keeping frickin’ warm…

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Bleeder – Balaban and the Bald Illeagles 

26 Feb 18

On the off chance that you’ve not frozen completely solid here’s a spanking new track from Balaban and the Bald Illeagles.

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Sunflower Bean – Crisis Fest 

23 Feb 18

Watched a few minutes of The Brits this week.

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Psychic TV – I.C Water 

22 Feb 18

How this passed me by I don’t know but I’ve just discovered that one of my personal heroes/heroines Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, lead singer and one of the creative forces behind Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, is suffering from chronic leukaemia.