Friday, 5 May 2023

Thank You For Your Kindness

Hello Everyone Thank You For Your Kind Messages About Albie
We Miss Him So Much & Hope He's Having A Great Time In Rainbow Bridge

As For Me & The Blog I Hopefully Be Back Soon
Just Being Busy With DIY Work Around The House & Garden

Hope To Hear From You's And All Soon


Thursday, 23 February 2023

Albie 2011-2023

 Albie 2011-2023

Hello Everybody
Since Yesterday Morning We Are Utterly Heartbroken And Devastated Of The Passing Of A Beloved Are Darling Sweet Boy Albie
Back July 2011 Albie Came Into Your Driveway Looking For Food. After About Two Weeks Trying To Fine Out If He Have A Hone
We Took Him In His New Forever Home.
He Was So Warm & Friendly & Fun Boy.
But Back October 2022 We Found Out He Have All Sorts Of Tumors
But After Medical Special Treatments He Was Losing The Fight To Carry On &
Unfortunately He Had Put Him To Sleep
For Now We Are So Broken With Pain & Sorrow For Your Lost
And For Now  I Must Take Time Out & Grieve For My Beloved Albie

A Message To Albie
Thank You So Much For A Being A Wonderful Pet 
We Will Always Remember & Never Forget You 

So Much LOVE


Saturday, 18 February 2023

Gary Numan Down In The Park The Alternative Anthology

Get It At Discogs

The early 21st century has seen a new legion of rock groups emerge, that have obviously studied the electronic/robotic new wave sounds of the late '70s and early '80s. As a result, an appreciation for such artists as Gary Numan has been rekindled. While Numan did issue his share of classic albums (especially 1979's one-two punch, Replicas and Pleasure Principle), many of his subsequent albums were spotty, inconsistent affairs. Which is where a set like the double-disc Down in the Park: The Alternative Anthology comes in handy. Featuring 31 tracks total from throughout Numan's career, there's something for everyone here -- new and old fans a like. However, Numan's early work is still by far his best, as evidenced by such new wave gems as "I Die: You Die," "Down in the Park," and "Cars," as well as tracks that are often overlooked on single-disc Numan collections, tops being "Me! I Disconnect From You." For a more extensive than usual Numan compilation, Down in the Park: The Alternative Anthology is recommended.

Wednesday, 15 February 2023

The Associates The Affectionate Punch

The Associates The Affectionate Punch

Get It At Discogs

All ten songs on The Affectionate Punch are nearly swollen with ambition and swagger, yet those attributes are confronted with high levels of anxiety and confusion, the sound of prowess and hormones converging head-on. It's not always pretty, but it's unflaggingly sensational, even when it slows down. Having debuted with a brazen reduction of David Bowie's "Boys Keep Swinging" to a spindly rumble, multi-instrumentalist Alan Rankine and vocalist Billy Mackenzie ensured instant attention and set forward with this, their first album. Mackenzie's exotic swoops cover four octaves, from the kind of isolated swagger heard in Bowie's "Secret Life of Arabia" to a falsetto more commonly heard in an opera house than a bar. (Dude sounds like a diva, so proceed with caution if you'd much rather hear a voice in line with PiL's John Lydon or Magazine's Howard Devoto.) Though the subject matter of the duo's songs would later veer into the completely inscrutable, there's some abstract wordplay here that scans like vocal exercises or Scott Walker at his most surreal: "Stenciled doubts spin the spine, Logan time, Logan time"; "If I threw myself from the ninth story, would I levitate back to three"; "His jawline's not perfect but that can be altered." Meaningful or not, there's always a sense of great weight. When Mackenzie runs through the alphabet in "A," he could be singing in code about the butterflies of love. Rankine, with help from drummer Nigel Glockler and a background appearance from then labelmate Robert Smith, covers most of the other stuff, specializing in spare arrangements that can simultaneously slither and jump, crosscut with guitars that release weary chimes and caustic stabs, as well as the occasional racing xylophone. Two years later -- a year after the genius run of bizarre singles collected on Fourth Drawer Down and the same year as the high-drama overdrive of Sulk -- Rankine and Mackenzie partially re-recorded and completely remixed this album to spectacularly layered and glossy effect. Get both versions. [The CD was re-released in 2016 and added 12 bonus tracks, most of them remixes.]  


Saturday, 11 February 2023

The Loft Magpie Eyes 1982-85

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Magpie Eyes 1982-1985 is an excellent compilation that gathers this short-lived group's output. The Loft never quite got the attention they deserved as a guitar pop band. The fact that they were on Creation Records and later turned into the Weather Prophets seemed to often overshadow the band's music. The complete, stumbling, perfect imperfections of "Why Did the Rain" highlight the group's strong points, with distinct, melodic guitar leads over a jangling rhythm section. Tracks like this one helped set the stage for the direction of indie pop over the next 20 years. The warm production emphasizes a classic structure that draws from the Velvet Underground, Television, and the Byrds. A crisper production follows on the rest of the tracks, but this short collection never falters in song quality. "Skeleton Staircase" lightly drones and jangles as Pete Astor croons is his faltering, song-speak way. Andy Strickland's clean guitar work balances out the uneven moments. "Winter" is another fine track, with the vocals and guitar raised to the very front of the track as the muffled drums carry the back. It could easily be mistaken for something off of the Flying Nun roster. "Up the Hill and Down the Slope" is the group's swan song -- endemic of their entire output -- a seemingly tangled mess of guitars and crooked melodies, but structured to perfection. The collection improves upon 1989's Once Around the Fair by adding four live tracks including a great version of "Up the Hill and Down the Slope".

Wednesday, 8 February 2023

Blueboy If Wishes Were Horses

Get It At Discogs

A gorgeous slice of pastoral English pop, the debut album from Reading, England's Blueboy is one of those charmed releases that make you understand the obsessions of indie rock collectors. Clocking in at under 30 minutes, the disc is nevertheless packed with gentle gems, beginning with "Candy Bracelet," a melancholic meditation that soars on a bed of shimmering, echoing guitars and turns on a deceptively simple harmony vocal from Gemma Townlet. Serving as the group's cellist as well, she takes a prominent role on "Cloud Babies" and "Fondette," adding a mournful undercurrent to the delicate fingerpicking. The quintet shows a bit of versatility with a pair of breezy bossa nova-tinged numbers ("Too Good To Be True" and "Clear Skies") which are also delightful, but it's on "Sea Horses" and "Amoroso" that the group really shines, re-creating the Johnny Marr-style jangle that so many post-Smiths groups have copied, and matching it to the hooks that so few others have managed. While the group turned in more complex (and certainly lengthier) outings on its final two releases, If Wishes Were Horses wound up Blueboy's best statement of intent, a fleeting and irresistible pleasure.

Saturday, 4 February 2023

The Hit Parade The Sound Of The Hit Parade

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The last album by the Hit Parade, by this time officially a duo of singer/songwriter Julian Henry and programmer/producer Raymond Watts, with various guests including their Sarah Records labelmate Harvey Williams on guitar and legendary ligger Cath Carroll on vocals, is fairly relentlessly bleak. The occasional mopery of the duo's earlier records is a fully-fledged worldview on The Sound of the Hit Parade. The song titles tell the whole story: "As I Lay Dying," "Farewell My Lido," "She Won't Come Back," "Crying." Henry even makes the move of Sarah Records' home office from Bristol to London in "House of Sarah" sound like an ominous portent. (The again, the label did close less than two years later...). The temptation to tell Henry to have a drink and pull himself together is a little overwhelming at times, but Watts' clean and sparkly, but not antiseptic, production makes this the Hit Parade's best-sounding record ever, and it's melodically richer than before.This is the Hit Parade at their best.

Wednesday, 1 February 2023

The Orchids Striving For The Lazy Perfection

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When indie pop fans speak of the fabled Sarah label and its roster, it seems that the Orchids are rarely afforded the same hushed, reverential tones received by the likes of the Field Mice or Heavenly, which is a great shame -- the Orchids were one of the finest bands Sarah ever produced, and their masterpiece Striving for the Lazy Perfection is as good as anything in the label's storied catalog. Encompassing everything from dream pop to trip-hop, it's certainly a product of its time and place, yet it also possesses a certain timeless quality -- though seemingly incompatible ingredients, the album's shimmering guitars, soulful backing vocals (courtesy of Pauline Hynds), and programmed beats add up to something unique and compelling. Moreover, while tracks like "Welcome to My Curious Heart," "A Living Ken and Barbie," and "Lovechild" are so dissimilar in style and sensibility as to sound almost like the work of three different bands, Striving for the Lazy Perfection is never less than the sum of its parts, held together instead by the scope of its ambition and the uniformity of its excellence.

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