Birmingham news and blogs Friday 22 June 2018
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The Hearing Aid

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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.

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Kate Bush – Moments of Pleasure 

20 Feb 18

This might not be one of Bush’s best known tracks but it’s arguably one of her best.

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Another one bites the dust…just 4 more months of The Flapper 

14 Feb 18

Well, the writing’s been on the wall for a while now (and I don’t just mean in the men’s loos) but very sadly The Flapper’s confirmed that it’s closing in June to make way for yet more oh so vital apartments that some investor on the other side of …

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The Day Ends need you! 

13 Feb 18

As part of their ongoing mission to bring their particular brand of musical magic / madness / mayhem / mayonnaise to the wider world The Day Ends are planning to remove the safety nets altogether and start live streaming all kinds of freaky shit via …

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Youth Man – I Don’t Know 

9 Feb 18

Now signed to Alcopop! Records and with a tour in the offing Youth Man are back with a brand new track that’s quite possibly the best thing they’ve ever done.

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Go-Kart Mozart – When You’re Depressed 

8 Feb 18

I’ve been trying to find a version of Go-Kart Mozart’s latest track Relative Poverty that I can stick up here but without success so let’s plump for last year’s When You’re Depressed instead.

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Somewhere it’s over for The Rainbow… 

5 Feb 18

This has been rumbling on for a while now but if The Rainbow Venues in Digbeth do remain closed after the revocation of its licence/s it will be one of the most short sighted decisions Birmingham City Council will have ever made…

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XTC…that was pop 

1 Feb 18

Finally got round to watching the XTC doc This Is Pop last week, well worth your time if you’ve got an hour or two to spare.

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Ezra Furman – Suck The Blood From My Wound 

30 Jan 18

Like MGMT’s Time To Pretend’s twisted sister Ezra Furman’s latest, the radio friendly (ahem) Suck The Blood From My Wound is, well, bloody brilliant.

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Mark E Smith RIP 

25 Jan 18

There will be lots written about the legendary front man of The Fall over the coming hours, days and weeks (there already has been) by people far more eloquent and knowledgeable than me (not difficult I’ll grant you).

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Billy Joel – Scandinavian Skies 

23 Jan 18

Depending on your age the chances are that you’ll know Billy Joel for one of three tracks, Piano Man, Uptown Girl or We Didn’t Start The Fire, but you might not be familiar with the distinctly Magical Mystery Tour era Beatles-ish Scandinavian Skies.

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Peter Wyngarde RIP 

19 Jan 18

Okay he may be better known as an actor and all round chap than a singer but Peter Wyngarde, who’s passed away at the grand old age of 90…

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Creative Funk – Breezies 

18 Jan 18

Just look at that.

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Delores O’Riordan RIP 

16 Jan 18

If you’re a fan of troubled Irish musicians yesterday must have been particularly bitter sweet.

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Tonight! Live! The Day Ends and Balaban and the Bald Illeagles! 

12 Jan 18

Sadly it’s a little too far for me to make these days but if you’re in or around the Stourbridge area tonight get along to Claptrap for a trio of bands, including the incomparable The Day Ends.

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A Black day indeed… 

10 Jan 18

Many will know that today’s the second anniversary of the death of David Bowie but it’s also the date on which Colin Vearncombe (aka Black) suffered the devastating brain injury (in a car crash) that ended his life a couple of weeks later.

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The Go! Team – Mayday 

9 Jan 18

Pretty sure I’ll be preaching to the converted (or quite possibly the perverted) here but if you haven’t heard some of the fruits of The Go! Team’s new album do your ears a favour and get stuck in.

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Tune-Yards – Look At Your Hands 

4 Jan 18

Okay so the tune’s been around for a few weeks now but the album’s out this month so that’s a good enough excuse to pop Tune-Yards’ Look At Your Hands up on here.

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Arise Sir Marc… 

2 Jan 18

Chuffed to hear that Marc Almond’s finally been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list for his almost 40 year career and charity work with Headway.