Showing posts from January, 2016

The Fall - Last Night At The Palais

Is there anyone in the world who owns every Fall album? I somehow doubt it. If there is, they probably need a shrink. I've got 307 of the buggers bowing out a shelf, but there are at least another 158 I have never heard, and that's just fine. The Fall are a band, nay an institution (madhouse?) one can dip into and out of at will. They seem to have always been there, and they will only stop when Mark E. Smith slumps over his last pint, never to curmudge again.

There is no reason to buy this 2009 released album for the soundtrack alone, unless you were there. No, the real strange attraction of this set is the DVD, documenting the last ever gig at that famous old venue the Hammersmith Palais, on April 1st, 2007. The last crowd of white men (and a few women) in "'ammer-palay", as Joe once immortalised it were to be moved on, they don't want your type here no more, make way for the never-ending encroachment (Yarbles!) of gentrification.

"Northern white crap…

David Bowie - Blackstar, White Noise

Perhaps it helps not being a fan per sé, but the feeling of loss since waking to the awful news on that fateful Monday morning of 11th January 2016 still lingers, if tempered by subsequently overdosing on the better parts of David Bowie's back catalogue. Bowie's large but not excessive musical back pages have now become his legacy. Let it not be forgotten that he was also an actor, and he influenced fashion, theatre, video, and changed rigid gender perceptions, even I suspect amongst the most macho of builders' labourers, I mean, just look at The Spiders! However there can be no question that what Bowie will be chiefly remembered for is his massive contribution to popular music.

The first Bowie album I bought new was Low, as prior to that, although aware of the singles via Top of the Pops and later my secondhand copy of Changesonebowie, I was a rock fan, and rock fans didn't buy singles, they bought albums, there was a strong demarcation and ne'er the twain shall m…

David Bowie R.I.P.

It all seems so obvious now...the lyrics...the Lazarus video, in fact most of Blackstar witnesses David Bowie having a chat with Death. As a parting artistic statement it is perhaps without precedent. However, this is not a review of David Bowie's last album, but merely a cathartic outpouring of words about a man, who for those of us who came of age in 1970s was, no REALLY WAS an icon. I was only 10 or 11 when the Beatles broke up, and Bowie was our John Lennon, and in our eyes far more important and relevant, obviously. The word "genius" is another cheapened by overuse, but most assuredly applies in his case.

I'm not about to make grandiose claims that Bowie changed my life. Hell, I was only 12 when Ziggy landed, and the barely aware of anything beyond my small universe, so I wasn't about to start slapping on the eyeliner and dressing up strange. I do remember watching this weird science fiction rockstar on Top Of The Pops, and it tied nicely into my sci-fi read…

Census of Hallucinations - Nothing Is As It Seems

Since reactivating his marvellous troupe of fried agitproppers in 2012 with the rather fine Dragonian Days album, Tim Jones has led his Census of Hallucination troops into a period of high studio activity, resulting in no less than five albums, and a double album career-spanning retrospective to date. Nothing Is As It Seems consists of the quartet of songs that made up 2014's Imagine John Lennon EP, plus five new songs, all linked by a loose theme based around alienation in the modern world, a place that is essentially a prison for our thoughts, a place where freedom for the 1% is a given, but far from reality for the rest of us, many of whom are complicit, having "left their brains at home". Those in power will have us "Emptying the Atlantic with a cup, emptying the Pacific with a spoon", and we'll be bloody grateful, doff yer titfer.

Where was I? Oh yeah...I am well aware how this "woe is me" theme is all too prevalent these days, reflecting the…