Music

Music

Siouxsie Sioux got there first

Siouxsie Sioux got there first

Siouxsie Sioux, Royal Festival Hall, 16th June 2013 Whatever Siouxsie Sioux has been doing in the five years since her last UK gig and in the 30-ish years since I last saw her, it clearly didn’t involve much hedonism or debauchery or general hardcore fun, the kind you liked to [...]

by × June 18, 2013 × 0 comments

Music

Great Albums: Dare

Great Albums: Dare

In the early years of the 1980s stretch jeans were all the rage. Stretch jeans and The Human League’s Dare. Both were revolutionary but practical and, when wrapped around youth, snugly-smugly invincible. I was sweet 16 when Dare was released in 1981 and it confirmed all the psychoses of teenagerdom. [...]

by × June 5, 2013 × 1 comment

Music

What I’ve been listening to…

What I’ve been listening to…

This is the first is a new series of ‘What I’ve been listening to…’ columns. CultureKicks also has a ‘What I’ve been reading…’ column by Emily Rhodes, a ‘What I’ve been watching…’ column by Peter Hoskin, and a ‘What I’ve been looking at…’ one by Claudia Massie. As I ticked [...]

by × May 15, 2013 × 0 comments

Music

A crash course in brain surgery

A crash course in brain surgery

‘You don’t have to be a Slayer! Go and buy yourself another shirt.’ That’s what I was ordered to do by a middle-aged hippie at the gates of the End of the Road festival in Dorset a couple of years back. I was entering the site dressed in my favourite [...]

by × May 10, 2013 × 0 comments

Music

Baseball Diamond

Baseball Diamond

There are three notes guaranteed to shake you out of any gloom: B, C#, D. He plays them with a gentle skipping rhythm, twice up, twice down. Then the same pattern starting on D. By now smiles are breaking out, shoulders are swinging. Two more triples: F#, G#, A repeated, [...]

by × May 1, 2013 × 0 comments

Music

Cross the Road, Molina

Cross the Road, Molina

It was 2nd June, 2005. I was standing outside Bush Hall, a converted pool hall in west London, clutching a piece of printed paper. On it was a code to get me into to see Jason Molina, AKA Songs: Ohia, AKA Magnolia Electric Company, and I was jittery after a [...]

by × April 24, 2013 × 0 comments

Music

My night with Morrissey’s quiff

My night with Morrissey’s quiff

The tang of hairspray in the air, crushed daffodils underfoot, and the offer of a covert French kiss from a boy who looked like Ronnie Kray’s runner. It could only be a celebration of one band, or rather one man: Morrissey. So this is how it came to be that [...]

by × April 3, 2013 × 0 comments

Music

As easy as A, B, C?

As easy as A, B, C?

Imagine you want to tell a friend about a book – but you have first to teach them the letters of the alphabet. Imagine you’d like to describe a great painting – yet your audience shrinks back in horror if you dare to say ‘perspective’ or ‘watercolour’, let alone ‘Cubism’. [...]

by × March 14, 2013 × 0 comments

Music

Layering different sounds

Layering different sounds

I’ve only ever seen The Orb play live once, but I saw them as they were supposed to be seen: off my head on a beautiful summer’s evening in a field in the West Country As the purple sun began to set behind the NME stage at the Glastonbury Festival [...]

by × February 25, 2013 × 0 comments

Music

Morrissey and me

Morrissey and me

I doubt you’ll be surprised that I was a big fan of The Smiths. Pretty much everybody of my generation who didn’t kneel at the altar of Saint Margaret bent a knee to that other implacable Eighties northern diva, Saint Morrissey. When Johnny Marr walked out in ‘87, sick of Morrissey’s pig-headed refusal to [...]

by × February 21, 2013 × 1 comment