Monday 30 July 2007

When the going gets weird the weird turn pro: Fave Tunes June/July 2007

If You Gotta Go – Jim Reid: Cute spangly strumathon with Jim in fine voice. Ser-woon! There’s a good bit where he sings "Listen to the…" and your brain goes "girl as she takes on half the world" because ‘Just Like Honey’ is hopelessly imprinted there forever.

About You – The Pastels: Gorgeous twinklingly warm and fuzzy version of the Reid brothers’ already v. swoonsome track. The line ‘People die in their living rooms / but they do not need this God Almighty gloom’ has been making me laugh for the last twenty years.

Bats Over Barstow – Pete Greenwood. Fear and Loathing folky darkness.

Swami – William Penn V: From The Essential Pebbles Vol. 1: The Very Best of American Garage

Up The Hill - The See See: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young meet The Essex Green. Hoo yeah!

Let’s Live For Today – Living Daylights: From Rubble Vol 1: The Psychedelic Snarl. God Bless Bam Caruso.

That Girl Suicide – The Brian Jonestown Massacre: After their mighty performance of this at Islington Academy, it’s become this month’s BJM obsesso-tune.

The sound of Crumhorns: not fussy what the song is really, get hip to the Crummy sound, it’s what all the cool Medieval kidz are digging.

And I Was Blue – Sunforest: Medieval psych-folk from 1969 – how can you go wrong?

Navigator - The Lovetones: The Lovetones have gone a bit grown up on their new album, but the kind of grown-up that involves delivering daze-dreams epics, so that’s alright then.

Sunday 22 July 2007

The Truck That Never Was

Friday 20th July 2007 1.30pm: Hurrah! We’re on the coach to Oxford. We’ve printed out the line-up and chosen which bands we want to see, I’ve super-glued down the flapping sole on my boot and worked out exactly how much vodka to tip into Volvic bottles to keep us drunked up for the weekend. This year’s Truckin’ adventure has begun!
3pm: The coach still hasn’t left London, we stare slightly forlornly out the windows at Brent Cross and the miles of tailed-back traffic ahead.
4.30pm: We’re in Oxford! Once London spat us out at Hillingdon, we sped up here in no time. Mrs Williams has welcomed us back to our usual room in her guesthouse, and we’ve unpacked the water-proofs.
4.35pm: A phone call from Jim: Truck is cancelled. Truck. Is. Cancelled. Thanks to the crazy, biblical non-stop rain, the river has burst its banks and flooded the site. How inconsiderate. We are distraught in Oxford.
Saturday 21st July 2007 9am: A text from Jim: The show is going on! A spot of emergency Trucking is taking place today and tomorrow with various bands playing at Brookes University in Oxford. We ponder the line-up (hmmm, BJM…tempting), but our spirits are broken. We board the coach back to London, it speeds along through unbroken sunshine.
1.30pm: Back home. Lovebox Festival is taking place in the park next door. I unpack my unsullied festival gear to the sound of Super Furry Animal’s set. Oh the unbearable pathos!
SFA play ‘Hello Sunshine’. It pisses down. We have a cup of tea and sit on the sofa identifying Super Furry tunes. This is as good as it gets.
8pm: A thunderous version of ‘Call Me’ rattles the window frames. Deborah Harry and Clem Burke are in our ‘back garden’, standing on bits of grass that we've walked across countless times. That’s quite weird.

Monday 2 July 2007

Electric Pop Group at The Luminaire 30th June 2007

How to melt a Kitten’s heart on Another Rainy Saturday:

  • Line up four Swedish indie-pop boys-with-guitars across the stage (you can always tell they’re Swedish, they have this certain je ne sais quoi that Swedish indie-pop boys have about them that makes you recognise them as such).
  • Make sure those guitars shimmer with hints of the Jesus and Mary Chain at their most melodic.
  • Get them to play a succession of songs that are sheer sound-of-1986 chiming pop wonderment.

Why has nobody informed me about The Electric Pop Group before? I know their name has cropped up here and there, but nobody emphasised their fabness. I just assumed they were another bunch of Scandos in thrall to the much misinterpreted ‘C86’ sound (let’s not even go there, okay?), and there are only so many of them a girl can investigate.

The band name is so obvious, it’s perfect – clean, elegant, effective design; how very Swedish. The Electric Pop Group play their guitars to an iPod backing track and they all look exceedingly discombobulated by the fact that they’re on stage, but we’ll let them off ‘cos their songs are great. There goes ‘Popgirly’, with its jangly JAMC ‘Happy Place’ chords, the song around which the band was formed four years ago. It's sugary, chiming, nothing-new-under the-sunshine pop and I love it.

When we were 17, at our stripy tee-shirted, anorak-wearing, ice-cream eating indie-est we were self-diagnosed ‘pop-kids’, aiming to be like The Brilliant Corners’ ‘Emily’ who ‘made a skirt from a curtain, plays the tambourine’. If it had occurred to us though, we definitely would have taken on the mantle of ‘popgirlies’ and worn the name with dippy pride, alongside our Soup Dragons badges. So hurrah for the Electric Pop Group and their time-travelling shmindie-pop. Exult in the sheer fringe-shaking, knock-kneed spangly jangle of their tunes.