In layman's terms: A blog about music, by Luke Slater and James Welbourn.

6 December 2010

Review of the Year.....or is it?

Hello all

Sorry for the delay of approximately two years since the last blog post. Since then, I have relocated to London, gained several more grey hairs, and generally spent most of my time waiting for my next paycheck. Anyway, one day whilst I was crying into my cup of tea, I decided it would be a good idea to resurrect my music blog, as it is the one place that I can write down my somewhat laughable view on records, and the recording industry in general (such as my view that relatively few rock bands can be good if they have a female lead singer. I always try and think of some, but all I come up with are the Slits and Elastica).

Fortunately, I have decided to start writing again at the end of the year, when all the majors are coming up with their 'reviews of the year'. Sadly, I haven't listened to enough new music this year to compile a good enough list. For example, how much of a simpleton would I look if I wrote the following list:

"Er, yeah, here are my records of the year. The new Janelle Monae one, definitely the Gorillaz, that Funkadelic reissue I bought in HMV, and, erm......something by the Beatles?"

Exactly. I would have sounded more pointless than a Harry Redknapp press conference. However, its not as if I haven't bought any music this year - in fact its quite the opposite. I've been buying up whatever is cheap, filled in some of the gaps in my collection, and generally arrived at a conclusion that I came to a few years ago. One of the very few bands I couldn't live without, is from Prestwich, Greater Manchester, and has had one of the highest band turnovers in history. Still not got it yet? Ex members include DJ Marc Riley, and Brix Smith. Lead singer is....oh fuck it, its the Fall.

I revisited my Fall collection this year, as a result of reading both 'Renegade' by Mark E. Smith, and also Fallen, written by Guardian journalist Dave Simpson. Whilst reading the books, you realise that the Fall are a band that you really have to listen to in isolation. Plus, they are such a prolific band, there really is something for everyone. If the gritty northern diatribe of Live at the Witch Trials (1979), and Grotesque (1980) isn't for you, then try some of the later works such as the Real New Fall LP (2003), and Fall Heads Roll (2005), which retain the Fall's basic rock roots, whilst being more accessible. This year, they released Your Future Our Clutter, which sees a return to form after the more forgetful recent efforts, such as Reformation TLC.

So there you have it. Instead of giving you my playlist of the year, I've recommended a band that have been on the go for over 30 years instead of recommending a wide array of new and exciting bands. I may as well go the whole hog and recommend old Morecambe and Wise reruns, and Only Fools and Horses as Christmas TV that you should be watching. I will leave you with my weekly playlist though.....

TTC - Travailler (Orgasmic Remix)
Arcade Funk - Tilt
Janelle Monae - Wondaland
Bent - Beautiful Otherness
Beta Band - Simple
The Fall - Behind the Counter
Nick Cave - The Curse of Millhaven

James Welbourn

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