Sunday, 25 October 2009

TOTW43: Beverley Knight - In Your Shoes

This week's tune is, quite possibly, one of the best uses of sampling I've heard in years. Taking Rip it Up from Orange Juice, and giving it a totally different twist - especially if you listen to the version with Chipmunk (whoever he is). I prefer the Radio 2 version, no shock there, just featuring the talented vocal of Beverley Knight. It's funky, passionate, and enjoyable.

Official video (feat. Chipmunk)

Bubbling Under 

Whitney Houston - Million Dollar Bill

Jamie Callum - I'm all over it

Paolo Nutini - Pencil full of lead

Florence & the Machine - You've got the love

Wednesday, 21 October 2009


Ah, the terrible period between the mid-90s and early 00s.

That said, there's some pretty good numbers in the top 5. A bit of Lou Bega and Eiffel 65 are both very enjoyable. And it could be worse - imagine if Britney's hit was Oops I did it again...

Saturday, 17 October 2009

TOTW42: Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu - Bapa

Nerina Pallot - Real Life Starter

It starts a bit Kate Nash, but it develops into a real bouncy tune with a catchy chorus, and easily enjoyable.

Spandau Ballet - Once More

Argh! Another comeback band! Sounds like a cross between Take That and a film tune. That said, it isn't actually that bad.

Lisa Hannigan - Lille

Re-release, but a nice gentile number for a Sunday morning.

Michael Jackson - This is It

I'm not a fan of posthumous releases - if it was good enough to be a single, why wasn't it released at the time? Stinks a bit of voyeurism. However, This is It is definitely a good song, and Jackson at his best.

Vampire Weekend - Horchata

Only thing to say is that I'm already looking forward to the album!

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu — Bapa

Simple. Serene. Emotive. Obviously, I had not idea what the lyrics were referring to the first few times I heard this song, but notwithstanding that it's impossible not to be moved by it all. The song has actually been around for a while, and in the UK available for download since June, but physically released only on the 12th October. Amazing from someone who is said to be extremely shy, born blind and living without any modern aids that are available to him.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

TOTW41: Editors - Papillon

It's a very different direction from what we're used to with the Editors - away with the guitars, in with the synths. But, it's still unmistakably Tom Smith on vocals, which makes it unmistakably Editors. It's reassuringly retro, with a memorable tune, yet modern and distinct. And therefore good.

Bubbling Under

Idlewild - Readers & Writers

Vampire Weekend - Horchata

Saturday, 10 October 2009

In Concert: The Proclaimers

The last time I was at The Sands Centre for a concert, I did point out that I didn't view it as a perfect venue. Last night for The Proclaimers, it was proved even more with the lights often coming on a split second too late and far too many episodes of feedback for professional concert.

Miles Hunt (out of off of the Wonderstuff) was support, and sadly not as inspiring as hoped. Most of the songs were nice, but nothing more. I commented at the time that it would be a great soundtrack to a film, but not as gig music. Thankfully, ending with Size of a cow ensured that things weren't a complete damp squib.

As towards the headliners, overall it was a really good set. Inevitably, a lot of the songs I didn't recognise, and got the feeling that I wasn't the only one. Never-the-less, Love can move mountains (which I'm sure must have been a TOTW shortlist when it was released recently, but can't find it) was a particular favourite, and proof that the twins still have the ability to write good tunes.

The last 30 minutes however were an absolutely brilliant finale. Sunshine on Leith in its live form is truly emotive, and the other old favourites like I'm on my way and (of course) I'm Gonna be (500 miles) really got the crowd going - and the two First Aiders in the pit (it's a wonder they ever let me out).

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Wednesday, 7 October 2009


I love the way that the random year generator came up with 2002 - nope, done that, try again, so it said 2001 instead...

The advantage in being a recent year is that I can also tell you that the top single in this list sold 1,180,700 singles - and the top three sold over a million.

How that was possible with the second in the list will have to remain as a mystery...


Sunday, 4 October 2009

TOTW40: Fanfarlo - The Walls are Coming Down

Actually a very close run thing this week - The Editors in particular really impressing. In the end, it came to a choice between what I still think are two similar songs - Mumford & Sons and Fanfarlo. But after Wednesday, I suppose it could only be one of them:

Bubbling Under:

Colbie Caillat - Fallin' for you

Robbie Williams - Bodies

Editors - Papillon

Mumford & Sons - Little Lion Man

Thursday, 1 October 2009

In concert: First Aid Kit & Fanfarlo

When I first mentioned Fanfarlo in TOTW, I said there was more to follow. Where it followed was up in Glasgow at the world famous King Tutts, as I've been missing decent gigs for a while.

Somewhat unusually, it was actually a joint-headline gig with former TOTWers First Aid Kit.

But first of all, as ever, was the support act. Woodenbox are a local band, as is de rigeur, and as support bands often are were really really impressive. I'm trying to remember where I've heard the name from in the past, but either way the set was dynamic, and creative. A truly live experience with what I would call 'proper' instruments (ie saxophone and trumpet, not just the standard guitar + drums). Some would say that purpose of warm-up acts is to, erm, warm-up the crowd - and they managed this perfectly, with the right amount of energy to get things going without wearing things out.

First Aid Kit then took over the baton with a complete change. Close-knit harmonies with limited accompaniment showed the true vocal talents of both Klara and Johanna. Stand out track for me was the emotive cover of Universal Soldier, which is even more moving in the live. Hard Believer is the new single out on Monday, and is definitely a bit more energetic and different - I personally loved the anticipatory modulation (Can you tell I did music at school?) of the line "Love is ro-ugh" that they sang on the stage. The one flaw with the band is that you really have to be in the right sort of mood to enjoy the music in any length - and they may not be, for me at least, an "album buy" when it's out in January - but as background music and to show the talent in a live band, you can't go far wrong.

Back to Fanfarlo then, and as instrument after instrument appeared on the stage it became obvious that the band were going to be a bit nearer to The Arcade Fire than I previously thought, to be proved as the music started. Harold T Wilkins proves the similarities - as does seeing the band in action. It almost proved to be a logistical nightmare as it seemed between every song there was a mass movement to get into the right position to play yet another different instrument. Several I still have no idea what they actually were. To some extent they managed a mixed set on their own - from the gentle simple openings  to the fast paced Luna nothing seemed too much of a challenge to show the flair and talent.

I can't finish without commenting on the encore though, as First Aid Kit and Fanfarlo joined to perform This is the Way - first performed when the bands met up at the Field Day Festival. As it was really a joint headline, there's only one video I can finish wish - hope you enjoy at least as half as much as I enjoyed the diversity and flair that the gig as a whole had to offer.

Fanfarlo & First Aid Kit - This Is The Way (Devendra Banhart)

September Last Chance: Muse & Hockey

I'm breaking the rules again this month, but (as I said last month) I make 'em - so what's the problem?

2 "last chancers" this month, the first one meeting the standard criteria of "frequently mentioned, never quite made it as TOTW, but still a good song". It's feel good in its own way, catchy, and generally enjoyable:

Hockey - Song Away (Official Music Video)

The second one though I'm not sure has even made it to the TOTW shortlist throughout the past month. This is explained because I've hardly heard it on the radio. From hearing it for the first time though, I knew it was a great song. And they shouldn't be penalised for my crap choice of radio stations. So, far later that it should have appeared, here's the video:


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