Sunday, 2 December 2012

CHRISTMAS IS EASY (REDUX)

Hard to believe it's been a year since these two excitable Silvery Christmas Disco posts HERE and HERE - and even harder to believe the promises of new tunes in 2012 never materialised (Bar the not entirely serious and not entirely sober CHRISTMAS IS EASY EP which is OUT NOW and FREE!) But we have been busy and album 3 is all recorded and ready for mixing. 2012 was good, but didn't have a minute to myself.

But before that, a very short up date for the Christmas Disco. A CRACKING Junkshop Glam selection which should sit quite nicely with those older podcasts up there for when they get dusted down again this month (I still get teary eyed at some of those tunes). I think this new one is quite Christmassy, but not entirely. And it certainly sums up last Christmas playing GT5 listening to Glam also rans (see most of 2012's blogs. BTW, some kindly folks helped me out with a few of the items HERE so I go into the festive season a very happy chap.



Have a really super Christmas and we will see you in 2013 with some new ROCK. XXX

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

CHRISTMAS IS EASY

Ahead of the release of the great SILVERY Christmas double A side (don't worry, I think it will be a free download) 'CHRISTMAS IS EASY' / 'CHRIST ON A BIKE', I thought I'd get in the festive spirit by making my wants list public. You'll know my collection of tat is well on its way, but I've got stuck on a few things. Oh boy do I want these bad boys. But like all the best bad boys they don't come out to play often.

Go Go Thunder – 'The Race' / 'Mrs. Mann' –RCA 2494 (1975) - A spin off from the amazing Rescue Company Number 1 who released a string of truly brilliant singles in the early 70s, Go Go Thunder were one of those wonderful late Glam era pretend bands who tried their luck trying to sound like Sparks / Bowie / Roxy and even a fair chunk of early Move. Surely it's not that good is it? Well yes and no. But if you're on a particularly tricky level on GT5 and listen to this repeatedly you will suddenly realise that it's the only single you'll ever need. The flip is as mad, with the same fruity sax that punctuate most of the decent singles of the era and slightly amusing lyrics that are so hatefully catchy. You know those songs Brel wrote for men - those sad and amusing ones that look people up and down and see that there probably isn't anything worth doing except looking out for number one, even if that is more problematic than it seems at first? Well, those Rescue Co. No. 1 fellows (by way of their brilliant writers) nearly trump them. But this time you can do the Mud dance. Unfortunately. Thanks to the Purepop blog for the picture.

Bubbles –'This Is Where The Hurdie Gurdie Heebie Geebie Greenie Meenie Man Came In' / 'Zap N' Cat' –Decca Y-10832 (1975) - All you probably need to know about this is that yes, that is the title and yes it is sung in the chorus. Donovan fronting Roxy Music having a go at Wig Wam Bam? That doesn't do it justice somehow. The flip is that God awful thing 'Proto-Punk' - a cop out for quite a lot of shit, but here it is space age and threatening. And sung by someone who appears to be unfamiliar with the song. And singing. The picture is from the last time it was on eBay and went for about A THOUSAND SHEETS. The single that is usually said to have started the whole Junkshop Glam genre, and a far more worthy single to wear that crown than those lumbering but still fantastic Iron Virgin or Hector 45s. Also of note is an earlier single by Bubbles that I picked up on the off chance it was the same gang. It is also great. Lesson learnt: Call your band Bubbles.

Booby Trap – 'Kelly, Grace & Sally' / 'The Hooker' –Ariola 13 336 (1974) - If you thought Catapult were a bit much, your head will probably explode when you see this lot. A great example of the problematic Junkshop Glam genre were the B Side could never ever live up to the A Side (most of these bands were bluesy folkies at heart and you can imagine the rehearsal room battles to get the 'real' them on the flip) but with 'Kelly, Grace & Sally' leading the charge it's almost irrelevant. The picture is pinched from the Nederglam site, the one that is the companion to the brilliant 'Clap Your Hands & Stamp Your Feet' compilation that pretty much decided for me that if it wasn't out on a Dutch label in 1974 it isn't worth bothering with. Speaking of which:

Pantherman – 'Pantherman' / 'You Are My Friend' –Polydor 2050315 (1974) - I actually had this one. But fucking hell why did I let it go? WHY? Because I bought a swimming pool with the proceeds. Everyone likes this. That is a fact. Frank Klunhaar is a cool cat. Like that talking cat who goes on about old pianos and long johnsons. And that's the coolest sort of cat you can get. Virginia Plain could've been as good as this. Another track that reached a wider audience after being compiled onto the Dutch Glam compilation mentioned above, hopefully a second volume will pick up the other glorious Pantherman recordings like the flip of this single, the rather sexy 'You Are My Friend'. Pawsome.
Various - Killed By Glam Volume One - Moonboot MB01 (2009) - Home to the first two listed singles here and a whole lot more. Often gets derided for it's shoddy sound quality but that is massively missing the point. Look at it! (The picture is at the top) If you get to the other end of this record and you don't start dressing differently and imagining you are on a mid 70s European pop show something is wrong. Actually, no, you are right. I think I probably had too much coffee and I'd been meaning to wear those trousers for ages. And that hat. And I've always liked silk. That's Zappo on the cover. He's OK. I got the inferior 2nd volume (Pictured just there) with no problems but this one is being a little more tricky. I'd also add Glam Sandwich to this list too because that's ace but the cover isn't half as funny. And lets face it, when you're forking out FIFTY SHEETS plus for an old single, that's half the battle.

It's with a sadness that I realise the days of waking up with a boxed AT-AT at the end of the bed and sitting down to watch Raiders Of The Lost Ark with some Lego figures sat on the arms of the chair are long gone. Thank God then for 40 year old records and feeling safe in the knowledge that Christmas is easy. Yes, 'Christmas Is Easy' / 'Christ On A Bike' will be out on 3rd December 2012.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

SILVERY 3D

Well well. It's been a really stupid amount of time since the last missive about the new record (October 19th) so I thought a little more info should trickle out from the base camp to the camp fan base (yeah, that works. Ed.) The first draft of this was quite long but for your entertainment, I've trimmed it down to the essentials. Needless to say, we haven't been hard at it the whole time. Indeed, it's been nice to have a break for a bit and really get down to studying the theory behind the polyrhythms and virtuoso writing that make this band so great. Unfortunately, I got a PS3 and have been playing on that. I must say, the Motorstorm trilogy of games is the absolute pinnacle of my existence so far and I'm not sure anything will replace it in my heart. I'm not even into racing games, man. But LOOK! It's amazing what a few plays on Football Focus and Hairy Bikers can pay for.

Still in the capable hands of Mr Feazey and his wizardry of pressing the red button and the play button at the same time, the age old motto of what happens in the studio stays in the studio is more relevant than ever. The pictures of me in my pants locked in the toilet plucking a small pink acoustic will stay in the vault, likewise, the priceless footage of a motionless Kev staring blankly at a computer screen for about 45 minutes trying to work out how a guitar can be THAT out of tune will remain on file. Mr Feazey incidentally is now famous since his adventures with New Wave Of British Prog (NWOBP) vanguards The Fierce & The Dead and also the New Wave Of British Folk Prog (NWOBFP) vanguards The Murder Barn. Recording has been at an enjoyable pace and I now am happy to report that all that is needed is the singing. Should be able to knock that off in a day. LOL. Oh, and some keyboards. Darn. And some Sisters / Glitter Band brass if we can find some.
 
Since the predicted release date of August '12 looks rather undoable now (double bugger) It's also freed us up somewhat. The idea of the mythical Mayan symmetry of putting out a record every August every 2 years was a big thing to snap out of. Silvery are the most OCD of bands (and I say that sat here wearing my lucky blogging socks) but the delay has also been necessary as we've been hit by some very very annoying bits of bad luck. Silvery has rode a tide of being up against the odds for about 8 years but this last lot has taken the biscuit. Kev got stupidly ill, I lost count at 3 studios closing down on our arses, the trademark troublesome ranks and other people doing things far more interesting than Silvery. Another triumph over adversity? We'll see, but what I can say for certain is that OPERATION SILVERY THREE is brilliant so far. Just the right level of self mocking and self reverence. Here's what we've got:
GANG SHOW
YOU ANSWERED YOUR OWN QUESTION
THE RONALD OPUS
THE TELEVISION TREE
THUNDERER & EXCELSIOR
THE RESURRECTION OF DEAD SHIPS
HELLO BABY DELTIC
ADVENTURE BAND
SHIMMY SHIMMY
SIMPLE HARMONIC MOTION
THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE
THE ROUND TAIL
LIFE & NON LIFE
SEASICK

 
 
Sessions also took on some aborted titles - 'The Crompton' and 'Tottenham Google Images' will be held back for my projected solo record (working title 'From James ... With Love') and is yet to see the recording of 'Christmas Is Easy' and 'Christ On A Bike' - the festive double A Side sure to still be on the racks by June. Together with the earlier sessions for B-sides, we're looking at a superbly cram packed deluxe edition in 2023. Of the new titles, 'Gang Show' is my current favourite. It's out Ordered 'Orders'. Like Catapult doing 'There's No Business Like Showbusiness'. Second favourite is 'Life & Non Life', which avid Silvery watchers will be pleased to hear has now been whittled down from it's full 11 (ELEVEN) minute length to a cosy 7 minutes. A true pop song. As with all the best Silvery songs, a few of them are just an excuse to do a long repeating glam fadeout and some are just an excuse to have a terrible title. Must get around to changing a few of them. Business as usual. And I need to find room for the song 'Railway Architecture', just to make the album the ultimate pub quiz answer. Worth comparing this to the over eager first mention of the album HERE. Yeah, didn't quite pan out like that. More when we get it XX

Sunday, 17 June 2012

F.F.Silvery

Most of the posts on here that are actually about SILVERY are usually so I can write things down that I'm in danger of forgetting, and this is one is no exception.

In late 2003, or more likely early 2004, proto SILVERY members me and Mr Pull were pondering the hot topics of the day. Much of the first 3 or 4 years of the band was spent theorising about the band and occasionally rehearsing - gigs were nonexistent - not because we weren't match fit but usually because we were unhappy with the current styling of hats the band were wearing or we had lost our stock of fancy dress medals that we'd present ourselves during songs after particularly tricky solos. Or a good bit of dancing. I remember one occasion when a gig was cancelled last minute because we didn't have a funny enough idea to open with. Bands doing skits instead of an opening song. It was a simpler time. Our fan base of about 5 people preferred the music being kept to a minimum and the chatter being tightly rehearsed and catchy.

Anyway, at this particular brainstorming drinks (in the Barrowboy & Banker at London Bridge as I recall - an awful place but with nice pictures on the wall totally in keeping with the Medieval pamphlets all our flyers and website at the time pinched wholesale. I'd hate to see it now) we were trying to get to the bottom of the current spate of bands that sounded like that early wobbly incarnation of SILVERY. Franz Ferdinand were one single old (the SILVERY-esque 'Darts Of Pleasure') and we'd heard a couple of Fiery Furnaces tunes (both being built around devil's intervals and whole tone scales - our daring stock in trade in a very bland post-Libertines London). The FF initials puzzled us. Add to this The Features who added some dizzying hammond organ to the mix and we were flummoxed. The meeting revolved around if we should hurl ourselves into forever by changing our name to the slightly more clunky 'FFILVERY'. Seriously. Matters were confused further by the addition of Scissor Sisters - again, one single old at that point, the original release of 'Laura' (not the later hit reissue) that Mr Pull genuinely thought was one of my 4 track demos being played on the radio when he first heard it. I got less and less flattered by that the more I'd heard from the band over the years and wince slightly writing it here for you but it was heady days of young ambition from our easily puzzled heroes. Perhaps we should change the name to SSILVERY? It's best I don't tell the Hot Hot Heat story - especially when a Silvery trip to the seaside (The Astoria) resulted in seeing both the FF bands and the HHH allin one go.

As the SS vs FF debate spiralled on through the night, a stunning reveal happened - like the end of The Usual Suspects - as we looked around the bar at the Olde Englishe Elizabethan wall coverings - we began noticing that all the S's were written as F's and all the F's were written as S's! We had discovered the Long 'S' and while we didn't understand it, all the world seemed right again. Silvery remained Silvery, but at least we had an excuse now when we accidentally spelled it wrong. Of course, as the phrase 'for fucks sake' got handily shortened over generations of evolution to a simple FFS, Silvery got their very first t-shirt logo. In theory at least. Note: I don't know what the picture illustrating this story is about. I found it while looking for the fabled 'FILVERY' gig flyer on the OFFICIAL SILVERY HARD DRIVE and figured this was far more interesting. It is called 'Cock Fight' and is testament to just how wonderful those early demo sleeves were.

STOP PRESS: In 2015, one of early Silvery's biggest influences Sparks teamed up with Franz Ferdinand as 'FFS'. You couldn't make it up!

Monday, 2 April 2012

SISTERS

Continuing the tradition of posts about bands that no one will have heard of, I bring you SISTERS - an entry almost justified by the cover art provided alone. If you know them, it will almost definitely be through their 1973 single 'Kick Your Boots Off' (seen here in its French picture sleeve) which appeared on the seminal compendium (glittery obituary, if you will) of forgotten Glam Rock, 2003's Junkshop Glam compilation Velvet Tinmine. Incidental, the people at RPM have annoyed me endlessly by reissuing it with 4 songs switched for others. I mean, it's still good and all, but FFS. Licensing I guess? It just means you'll have to go elsewhere to get the BRILLIANT 'Rock Star' by Bearded Lady and 'Morning Bird' by The (other) Damned, but you do get 'Fraulein Love' by Space Waltz. Anywayz. Built around the same stomping guitar riff as Rescue Company Number 1's earlier and equally obscure turntable hit 'Life's Too Short' (more about them here sooooon), SISTERS, most reviewers will have you believe are a Slade-esque bunch of Glitter Stomping Terrace Bovvering glamsters - and indeed they are. Although on this evidence they seem far more polished than Slade, but also more brutal. The flipside is a rather nondescript upbeat jazzy work out, certainly the weakest of the 4 tracks they released in their lifetime. To my knowledge that is - I forgot to say that my earlier SWIMMER article was blown out the water recently by the discovery of a previously unheard single by them dating from 2 years BEFORE what I though was their debut. It wasn't very good, but having spent the last 18 years CERTAIN of the history of the bandm this left me quite shaken. However, it's on SISTERS second single, 'There's A Raver Coming Home' (Shown here in it's German picture sleeve) where the fun really begins. The A side is probably the definitive Junk Shop Glam track - driving compressed Glitter Band beat, the band shouting 'Hey!' all over the place, fruity saxophone, an almost a doowop outro. It sounds like the band is about 8 strong. You'll hear it on my previous post, the faultless bootleg glam compilation 'Glam Sandwich & Electro Flares'. Again, the B side is different, but how good is 'Help The Music'? It wouldn't sound out of place on Aladdin Sane (at a push) and does the same trick as 'Kick Your Boots Off' of repeating the riff throughout its 3 minute length. Add some extra noodling on the fade and you have a true classic. Hopefully someone will find space for it on Killed By Glam 3. In fact, I should make that my mission. Sisters are doing it for themselves and all that. So, who were they? I don't know, although the press pack that came with the 'Raver' single included this line up, plus we already knew the bassist Geoff wrote the tunes: "Paul Simmons (Drums) / Geoff Ellwood (Bass / Keys / Lead Vocals) / Bob Ellwood (Guitar / Vocals) / Producer by Nick Smith for Tangsong Productions Ltd / Norman Smith Productions / Black Sheep Music / Geoff Wilkins Music." I'm probably just showing off now. You'll notice that there's four of them on the cover of 'Kick Your Boots Off', so someone must have been LITERALLY kicked and booted. It's this kind of investigation that makes it so much more special when you finally find out. I still remember as a little boy thinking how miserable Roger Taylor looked on the cover of Queen's 'Greatest Hits'. A quick look at the credits revealed he hadn't written anything on the record. Poor Roger. Any info to the usual address.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Glam Sandwich & Electro Flares

You Need This Record! I was amazed I couldn't find a download of this on line, so hey, did it myself.
Following the success of the great Junk Shop Glam revival of the early 2000s with superior compilations from the RPM label (check out Velvet Tinmine and the brilliant Boobs) came the flood of copycat low budget cash ins (check out the almost brilliant Blitz The Ballroom and Glitter From The Litterbin). Like all great musical movements, then came the bootlegs in the shape of Killed By Glam Vol. 1 and 2 (you can find these here) and then this beauty, collecting up flip sides of singles already featured on previous compilation and new discoveries. Split roughly halfway between uptempo stompers and almost jazzy instrumentals (like a really fucked up, glittery, Low) it seems like it runs out of steam halfway through. It may well do (there was space for other classics of the genre not compiled before - Go Go Thunder's 'Mrs Mann', Rescue Co. No. 1's 'Esmeralda', anything stray from the great glam blogs) but we know better. Until I get my act together and compile my definitive Junk Shop Glam STOMPILATION, this will do. Mega difficult to find in it's original form, I gathered the tracks up from all sorts of places and made my own until I pick up the vinyl. Well done everyone involved.

Side 1
1) Rebels Rule –Iron Virgin (1974)
2) Good Time Fanny –Angel (1974)
3) Rock To The Jukebox –Peter D Kelly (1974)
4) Beautiful Child –Buster (1976)
5) Zap N Cat -The Bubbles (1975)
6) Standing In The Road –Blackfoot Sue (1972)
7) There’s A Raver Coming Home –Sisters (1974)

Side 2
1) Will You Stop That -Ruby Pearl (1974)
2) Cigarettes Women & Wine –Chicory Tip (1973)
3) The Apple And The Arrow -Silver Pony (1976)
4) Right On –Zappo (1973)
5) Hot Rod –Willy Zango And The Mechanics (1973)
6) Peter Gunn -Thunder Poad (1973)
7) Vanessa’s Luminous Dogcoat -Edwina Biglet And The Miglets (1972)

TELL HIM

320kbps
90MB

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

CATAPULT

I first mentioned Catapult here. I found this scribble in a cupboard and liked it - I'm not sure of the purpose of it other than to share the first flourishes of my new love with you. You deserve it. Reading it back it sounds like a madman wrote it.


THE FIRST DAY. So there I was, between Christmas and New Year playing Gran Turismo 5 on the newly bought Playstation 3 (like I need more distractions) and having a gay old time on my own. It was a nice opportunity to listen to some tunes rather than the shit on the game, and I NEVER get the opportunity to do that now. The main focus of today's sesh was the less familiar end of my collection of Junk Shop Glam (including Cherry Red compilations with titles like BOOBS and GLITTERBEST) featuring those Glam Rock and Terrace Stomp bands that no one remembers, or indeed bought at the time. One particular middle 8 caught my ear on a particularly bad lap and I made a note to track it down. A bit later after giving up on a hard slog around the Nurburgring Nordschleife (My steering had gone to shit) I had a little look through the discs to see if I could locate the bit I liked (I mean, I liked most of the 3 hours of music, but this was one I knew needed further investigation). Turned out to be a band called Catapult playing a pretty good slice of Bovver Boogie called Let Your Hair Hang Down. Some London pub rockers who tried their hand at going glam rock like most of the other bands on there? WRONG. Turned out to be Dutch. Not only that, but the KINGS of NEDER STOMP. Did an internet search and lo and bewank there was a video of them doing the song. Check this out. Isn't the guitar solo good? It's it all perfect? Part of me thought about the cunts who'd watch this and slag it off because it isn't some ernest and tryhard ****** Funk in Topshop gear (is that offensive? I'll star it out. You know what I mean). I loved it even more. Then I saw in the suggested videos another song. Brace yourself. Get a load of this. Now I'm in love. Genuine love. Listen to the production on that. Listen to the great vocals. Try to do the high kicks. Go on. I fell over in the kitchen. Look at the delight in their faces. They genuinely know that this is a game changer. I had to go and meet a pal for a drink down the road but I really wanted to listen to the band on my way so I hurriedly started looking for stuff on line. Ended up using fucking iTunes. Got everything they did - about 19 tracks in all, their solitary 1974 album (another box ticked - the best year in rock history) and various A sides and B sides. I NEVER go in that deep on bands. Well, I do but look at the list of previous James-Goes-Mental-And-Dives-Right-In bands: Queen, David Bowie, Cardiacs, Sparks. In that order. Are you starting to see how big a deal this was becoming for me? I actually felt breathless at the rush. I tootled off to the pub with Let Your Hair Hang Down and Teeny Bopper Band blasting in my ears - occasionally investigating other track just to dip my toe in, excited at the prospect of tomorrow being spent on the PS3 listening to them and finding out more on overgrown back alleys of the supersonic information super porn highway.

THE SECOND DAY. The next day I found an essay about them taken from the sleevenotes of a 90s CD compilation. Good start. Turns out they formed in the very same resort that I'd been to with the pal I met last night. IT'S A SIGN. I knew we should've formed a glam rock band that holiday. I found another video too. This completed the picture for me - they were bloody lovely chaps and they rocked fucking hard on stage. Also, they had their own Spinal Tap moment on a TV soundstage. With the help of some super discography websites I compiled the body of work I had downloaded into their debut album (1974's eponymous effort, the cover of which is over there with the little chap and the broken window) to get a better idea, and also the follow up compilation (1976's CATAPULT II). The Complete Collection (Vols 1 and 2) on iTunes were a chronological romp through the single A and B sides plus unaccounted for album cuts. I know full well if I'd got the albums au natural, it wouldn't take long for me to make the exact same compilation that I ended up buying. Just to see, like. First things first, they are weird little albums - much like when, after respecting WIZZARD from afar for decades, I finally got their debut WIZZARD BREW by accident which turned out to be amazing. In turn, Glam, Prog, Country & Western, Metal and maybe some proto punk. I.E. Just right. Catapult did not shy away from weird as much as I'd learnt they didn't shy away from perfect pop. Later single Spanish Eyes was prime ABBA. Another one Disco Njet - Wodka Da gave Boney M an entire career. Springtime Ballyhoo was like The Nice riding horses. There was even a sequence in Nightrake that wouldn't be out of place on Bowie's Low. Granted, if Black Lace decided to do Art Decade. I could see Laura Tobin and Sophie Raworth nodding along appreciatively on the TV. Chicks would dig Catapult. Mark my words, chicks would dig Catapult. Did you click the link up there on the words 'NEDER STOMP'? See that the label that released that particular compilation is called EXCELSIOR. IT'S ANOTHER SIGN. In the link up there on the word 'essay' you'll learn that the band went on to do lots of other stuff. Let me tell you that follow up novelty New Wave band THE MONOTONES are also excellent, but that's going to have to be another blog post. Yep, those are the same people. So anyway, now I'm spending my time on GT5 rooting through those Junkshop Glam CDs for more hidden gems. I'll be stunned if Pantherman, Angel or Go Go Thunder get a whole blog entry to themselves in 2012, but you never know as they are fucking excellent too. Sorry about all the swearing. Later in the year I'll do a JUNKSHOP GLAM DISCO SILVERY PODCAST (a 'Stompilation') and you'll see what I mean. Good stuff.

THE THIRD DAY. Catapult rested.

Friday, 6 January 2012

HOT HITS

I think I've only briefly talked about Bowie on here (in a roundabout way here and here) but as it's his 65th birthday this week (on the 8th) I thought it a good opportunity to get this out there. Last month you may remember a minor fuss being made of the long lost Top Of The Pops performance of 'The Jean Genie' from January 1973 being rediscovered and aired on TOTP2 over Christmas. Never a favourite song, but it was a real treat. Having only seen the production stills before and heard a terrible mic-to-the-TV audio version I wasn't hoping for much, but it's a great snapshot of Bowie and The Spiders From Mars living out their Yardbirds fantasies on the show with a fully live 5 minute blues blow out. Even little Trevor Bolder gets a look in. As these things do, it got me thinking. There was a version of 'The Jean Genie' on one of the first records I ever listened to and truly loved - Hot Hits 16 from 1973, featuring sound alike hits of the day way before I heard the original. Here's the cover:
You know the sort of thing. I think these are fascinating glimpses of their era and in their own way an important look at the artists covered, contemporary copycat recordings of songs we know so well now, but these session cats only had a few spins to get them right when they were newly released - check out 'Starman' on here. The singer would've had no idea how berserk the cockney singing could get. The family always had loads lying around - the result of having a dad with not only an eye for a budget price bargain, but also an eye for an under dressed bird in a wetsuit / playing snooker / on the farm / as a biker or whatever the theme of that month was. Oh to be a 70s Dad - the weekly fix of Pan's People and a vast collection of Hot Hits albums in the shed. Anyway, in a burst of nostalgia brought on by the Jean Genie performance on TOTPs I compiled a ~nearly~ complete David Bowie songbook from these albums through the years off my original wax cylinders. Most are from the similar Top Of The Pops series (no relation to the TV show), some are from another set called 12 Tops (Annoyingly, bar 'Rock N Roll Suicide' from April '74's 12 Tops Vol 16 - I bloody lost that back in '05. Anyone got it?).
I present these with the long bootlegged tracks from Hits '67 that some people will have you believe is actually a skint session singing pre-fame Bowie making a buck (Elton John did the same in the same era - boy was he narked when people worked it out). I ripped these from my own copy of the LP so they are in slightly better quality than the bootlegs. I always add 'Penny Lane' to my Bowie 60's compilations for pals primarily to weird them out, but also because I'm a contrary fellow. I'm 98% sure these aren't him but could argue either way. Most of these tracks are long deleted, but I do this as YOU NEED to hear the version of 'TVC15' on here. And '"Heroes"'. They trump the originals if you ask me. What an eye for detail these session cats have! But each track has it's own quirk. You won't believe 'Under Pressure' with the same chap doing both parts. BTW - 'Knock On Wood' follows the Amii Stewart '79 disco cover, not the '74 Bowie live single, and 'Oh! You Pretty Things' follows the frankly (homo) superior Peter Noone cut. Happy birthday Mr Bowie.

I'll let you change the MP3 properties yourself - I forgot to do it myself.

His name was always Buddy

19 tracks STEREO MP3
1 hour APPROX
63MB @ 128kbps

TOP OF 2011 PART THREE

Films. Final part of the review of the year. Books and music are just through here. No attempt was made to remember all of them some and presented here in no particular order - some of the films that got a look at in 2011. Note - Film 2011 With Claudia Winkleman was a joke. An absolutely hateful joke.
National Lampoon's Dirty Movie - Just a series of dirty jokes and crude comical sketches. I loved it.
Super 8 - Bid of a disappointment considering what it promised.
Insidious - Couple of scary bits, the end was a bit weak.
Final Destination 5 - Genuinely one of the best movie franchises out there.
The Mechanic - I love Jason Statham. I don't know why and I don't know how it happened.
Killer Elite - See above.
Thor - Liked the bits on Earth. The bits in space were rubbish.
Transformers 3 - As a Transformers purist I'm amazed how much I like this franchise. I also think the Tom Cruise War Of The Worlds is one of the better adaptations. There are no rules to this.
Cowboys & Aliens - Should've been a whole lot better. Good to see Harrison Ford dressed as Han Solo again.
Attack The Block - Genuinely the worst film I have ever seen. Absolute shit.
Unknown - I don't like Liam Neeson but his films are excellent. Should've put Statham in it instead.
Paul - So so. Turns out that Pegg bloke is a dick. A shame.
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes - Never liked the franchise one bit. This seemed OK but confused the matter even more when you think about it.
Contagion - Grim, but better than Perfect Sense which was essentially the same film. Even the tit count in it couldn't save it.
Bad Teacher / Horrible Bosses - I get confused remembering which is which, but it's OK as they were good. Horrible Bosses wins though.
Source Code - Really super. Highly predictable but good with it.
Captain America - Real good. To be honest, as long as I'm eating and warm, I'll end up liking anything. I've bored myself now. Toodlepip! xx

Thursday, 5 January 2012

TOP OF 2011 PART TWO

BOOKS. You know Silvery are the only band to ever have put a bibliography in a rock album? Twice? Well think of this as the Silvery bibliography of 2011, and as always, do check them out and report your findings back. Part One is here.

40 Years Of Queen by Harry Doherty
A wonderful trawl through the Queen archives, featuring historic replica posters, tickets and promotional items to pull out and play with (I got two so I could play with one until destruction). The pick of a  big year for Queen publications - but an honourable mention also goes to Peter Hince's Queen Unseen, the not entirely satisfying story of being on the road with the band. Doherty's work also has some annoying errors of course (I can spot a wrong caption in Queen or Bowie scribbles at 40 paces) but including only half the promised hour long 1977 interview on the CD was unforgivable. Now to be found in the bargain bins, a real must have for those among you who feel you're a bit old for Lego but fancy a good fiddle while watching Countryfile. You hear old blokes going on about The Clash, but you know they will never ever be as good as Queen.

The Impact of the Railways in the East End 1835-2010 by Emma Dwyer
A weird bound essay found in the London Transport Museum shop looking indepth at the regeneration of the corner of London's neglected railway lines that will always be Silvery. Excellent tales and brilliant illustrations coming across like Newsnight doing a Time Team episode. It even has Gore's engraving of a London viaduct on the cover which graced many an early Silvery flyer and bootleg cassette. The cover is down there, look.

Any Day Now by Kevin Cann
Looking at the early years of David Bowie day by day up until 1974 when he became the Man Who Fell To America and left the Ziggy clone kids mourning in the UK. I know my Bowie, but this is remarkable - digging up bits and bobs I was genuinely stunned by. The closest comparison I could make is when I first sat through Dave Thompson's Moonage Daydream back in '87 opening up the chest of Bowie-dom. And I never thought I'd feel that excitement about a Bowie book again. You hear old blokes going on about The Clash, but you know they will never ever be as good as David Bowie.

Viz - Anus Horribilis
A page for each day of the year for the purchaser to read when visiting the smallest room in the house. With most Viz things, you'll see that the early stuff really was shit and it has certainly gone through a renaissance recently. Well, the last decade. That turns generally accepted knowledge on its head. It really is like Private Eye but with cock gags in it. Up there with their previous best compendium, Roger's Ad Break. Still irked about the amount of my entries that made it into the proper Profanisaurus (unprovable) and the lack of any sign of the original article that inspired 'Thunderer & Excelsior' in 2004. Or was it 2005? You hear old blokes going on about The Clash, but you know they will never ever be as good as Viz.

Blockbuster! / Number One Songs In Heaven by Dave Thompson
Two for the price of one. I never thought I'd see a book dedicated to The Sweet or Sparks. Then two come along at once. Sparks even had another one too in the shape of Daryl Easlea's Talent Is An Asset. Spoilt for choice. Both books were somehow combined in the same author's Glam history Children Of The Revolution which made me darn happy this year. Even featuring an heroic turn by our own blog star Martin Gordon. Cherry Red Books, Silvery salute you.
Post Everything by Luke Haines Luke Haines had his work cut out to follow up his Britpop kiss and tell (more a Britpop Piss and Smell to be honest) from a couple of years ago. I'm not so familiar with his 00s work which might have made this more fun - the tale of everything crumbling around him and him coming back stronger. About 6 times. I was lucky enough to open for the great man in February doing a Silvery Karaoke One Man set. But we don't talk about that. I told him I was touched that he looked back on those heady days supporting Suede in '92 with as much fondness as I did. Which kind of blew the cover of me being a green 21 year old.

Aylesbury Bolton Wolverhampton Hove by Adrian Bell
Adrian 'Belch' Bell is a wise and funny man, so it's only right he poured years of graft into this love letter to Cardiacs. A travelogue of his 101 Cardiacs gigs over the years and certainly of more than enough interest to anyone who did the same in the 80s and 90s with any number of bands. I was lucky enough to receive one of the first limited hard back editions and shed a little tear as I saw my name in there.

Out Of This World by Mike Ashley Honourable mention must go to this companion publication to an exhibition at the British Library. A beautiful collection of early Sci Fi posters and book covers. Just my cup of tea and well worth scanning and sticking on the covers of the next load of Silvery singles. The cover is up there, look. That reminds me - I should do films next. Toodlepip.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

TOP OF 2011 PART ONE

First things first - I forgot to wish you all a happy new year. So here it is! What better way to look forward to the new as we look back on the old. It just doesn't seem right to rank these, so in no particular order, the top things I heard in 2011, old and new. Mainly old, it must be said. I didn't include the 2011 Queen reissues begause that's a blog in itself. Maybe next time.

Rising Of The Lights by William D Drake
The album of 2011 - William D Drake's best album yet, bouncing between uptempo tricky time signature jaunts and long psuedo prog workouts. Bill's rumaging around in his dusty Victorian bookshelves pays off again leaving us swooning and chuckling at the wonderful images conjoured up. The silly sausage.

Barringtone's single Snake In The Grass
A single from, I dunno, 2 years ago? Discovered the band playing live at the Brixton Windmill and couldn't quite believe what I was hearing. Avant-art-power trio indie? No, that doesn't sound right. Far better than their previous band Clor but following the same lines. Would love to get more by Barringtone but they seem slightly internet shy. A cracking hope for 2012.

Catapult by Catapult (1974)
Holy smoke. I like Glam Rock also rans - you know this - but this lot, crown kings of dutch Neder Stomp, really really stir things up. One spin of 'Let Your Hair Hang Down' makes you realise that the landscape of 1974 could've been a whole lot different, and one watch of 'Teeny Bopper Band' will make you want to dust off the clogs and glitter and form your own Catapult. But that's not all - dig deeper and you'll marvel at the soundscapes of 'Nightrake' and 'Springtime Ballyhoo'. I will be blogging more about this lot soon. It seems anything released in 1974 was brilliant and as the tour film shows, a band that can fucking tear it up live is ok with me. Straight in my top bands ever top 10.

David Bowie's long lost Toy album
Read about this here. Not necessarily the best unreleased Bowie record, but a welcome diversion while we wait for the real meat this year when the vaults open under a new label.

MMs Bar on Trunk Records
A collection of announcements from a Midlands Mainline buffet car. Another brilliant release from Trunk.

I Agree With Nick by Special Needs
Recently reformed blah blah blah. Special Needs released their first new material for about 5 years a couple of months ago and it dazzled with a fine addition to their trademark call and response vocals and relentless marching drums. In short, fucking excellent. Not difficult really in a year which almost every single musical style has totally gone to shit. Well done suits. Technically, Special Needs should clean up in 2012.

Two Halves Of The Same Boy by Silvery
Our only release this year (ignoring the much praised and long deleted Bandcamp releases of the 'London Riots Musical' demo selection in the summer and the 'Shimmy Shimmy' meisterwerk) trumped all the previous ones by spending over a month on the BBC playlist and filling Koko for a release bash (well, most of them were already there I think). With the album Railway Architecture stripped of singles already (The best shot 'A Deconstruction Of Roles' was fired off the previous October, laying the groundwork for this filler) follow up options were limited and a reissue of debut single 'Horrors' was vetoed. Label slow to show the money meant the surefire summer smash 'Shimmy Shimmy' never got to the mixing stage and global stardom for Silvery had to wait another year. Again.