Wednesday, July 21, 2004


The Undertones were my favourite band for years.  There are some records you know so well that you don't need to play them and the first 2 Undertones lp's are like that for me.  I'd  revised them thoroughly in my teens and  it's all still there (unlike the stuff I should have been revising)....but I was pleasantly caught out by technology.  I'd had the cd reissue  of the first lp and knew it had b sides on as the extra I was not expecting to hear the most definitely A side quality You've got my number.

The lyrics are either a lesson in brevity, or else there was a lyric shortage in late 70's Derry and John O'Neil's mum forgot to queue up. The entire lyrics are ....

"You've got my number why don't you use it
  you know my name, you won't abuse it
  If you wanna wanna wanna have someone to talk to.
  I'll pick you up in my car, I'll  take you home it's not far.
  Why don't you ring my number
  To say goodbye I couldn't stand it,
  you've got my number why don't  you useit" 

I could still picture the sleeve, with it's one sided cut out for thepicture label to show through.In true stealth buffet style...I had to play it again.  (Twice nightly Richard Whitely)

Of course it all get's better because the next track was it's b side Let's talk about Girls.  The Undertones version is very close to the original. (Can't remember who did it first but it's on Nuggets)  It's a great garage rock record and I remember the Undertones playing it on their last tour in 83. The last minute or so is just the line "Let's talk about girls" repeated over and over , occasionally changed to "Let's talk about women"  before settling back to "Let's talk about girls." With  Feargal's "Honest , I'm not a virgin" toy tough  vocals and  boy boisterous ("How come the girls have all gone?") backing vox you just get the feeling that they're talking about girls because they don' t actually know any.  Which makes it a great pop record because, as we all know....The best songs are either about getting or not getting the girl.

Which brings us neatly to the  Ramones.
"Everyone else sang about cars and girls....but we didn't have cars or girlfriends"
What else is there to say apart from

Tuesday, July 13, 2004


Devo...Played the first lp, originally issued in a bewildering aray of different coloured vinyls. I didn't buy it at the time, but my older and richer collector mate at school did. So I taped his. He also went to see them and I remember asking what instruments they used, my 14 year old self imagining they must have used strange futuristic instruments. No at Manchester Apollo, they reportedly used "Just normal" instruments. 25
years later and the reissue sounds great.. A look at the Production credits also answers why I asked that question all those years ago. In two words... Brian Eno.
Uncontrollable urge is worth it just for the call and response vocals
"I've got an uncontroallbale urge"
"He's got an uncontrollable urge"

Space junk and Slap your mammy are just excellent sounding space pop songs and can there be a better single than Jocko Homo and Mongoloid? Double A side and doubley offensive


Played the first lp this morning....(not that there was any chance of me playing the abominable second album), Line up sounded great, with it's metallic Jean Jaques Burnel bass line. In fact Waking Up owes more than a chorus and riff to No More Heroes and I think it went to court.. Wire definitely got a settlement for the Connection/3 Girl Rhumba ahem tribute.
Annie I like just because it's got a band member name in it. (My favourite example of this though is The Fall's Wonderful And Frightening World album which not only has Stephen Song but also Craigness)

I like Allnighter a lot....not enough Pop Punk songs about going to the allnight garage while trying to cop off.

And then of course theres the serious question that needs resolving.....Indeed I would.

Friday, July 09, 2004

The Darkness

Guilty pleasure on the bus, Confession time. Listened toThe Darkness hoping that no-one could tell either through the guilty smirk on my face or the sound from leaky headphones. There's some fine rhythym playing and great little riffs under all the guitar squawling. The lyrics throughout are fantastic "My hearts in overdrive and you're behind the steering wheel" (I believe in a thing called love) while the only possible way to improve a
chorus like "Get your hands off my woman motherfucker" is to lead into it with a mega decibel falsetto scream "You cunt". Good job that's what they did.

However, there is absolutely no need for a Scorpions, lighters in the air type song like Love is only a feeling or the fine named but foul sounding Holding my own. Although I suppose it is in their job description to write them...Top Metal bands even if they're Top Pantomime Metal bands still need a power ballad. This has always been the way. Just as it's every righteous citizens duty when confronted by a stray or suffering Power Ballad to put it out of it's misery.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Top 10 cover versions

Slits - Heard it through the grapevine
Happy Mondays - Step on
Siouxsie and the Banshees - Helter skelter
Dexy's - Breaking down the walls of heartache
Clash - Police and Thieves
Raincoats - Lola
Cowboy Junkies - Powderfinger
Tricky - Black steel in the hour of chaos
David Bowie - Lets spend the night together
Flying Burritos - Dark end of the street
James Carr - To love somebody
Johnny Cash - One
Television - Fire Engine
Rubinoos - I think we're alone now
Stranglers - Walk on by

Tuesday, July 06, 2004


Mott the Hoople

A twisted knee kept me off the bike to work this morning and put me on the bus. Good opportunity for listening to music and in true Stealth Buffet style, I took it. Mojo's introduction Mott the Hoople has probably more Mott than you're likely to need in a lifetime (hmmmm), it's also got All The Way To Memphis which has got one of my favourite parping sax parts, which fades in and out
of the mix as the sax player struggles to keep control of his instrument. (This post has turned into a Finbar Saunders entry?whoops there I go I go again). I never really got to grips with jazz and I never liked the famous pop sax moments like Baker Street, Hazel O'Connor Will You? Oh no. I like the tooting and parping sax sounds like Four Top Same Old Song, Isley Brother
This Old Heart Of Mine.

Back to Mott though?The Glam singles like All, The Young Dudes, All The way To Memphis, Honoloochie Boogie sounded fantastic but the line that made me smile was the hooker with a heart of gold song Alice with it's line "I wonder if she wonders if I wonder if she wonders"

Monday, July 05, 2004

Jim Ford/ Gang of 4/Scritti Politti

After the Euro 2004 final I clocked up some cd time....Jim Ford's Harlan County is a furious paced country soul song which cheerfully outlines the worlds hardest life "Where the cold winds blow and the crops don't grow and a mans tired of living when he's 20").

Obviously county music is famous for hardship, and 60's weeping and wailing soul singers were never afraid of a musical sob story. This has got troubles by the tractorlaod though. Verse after horn driven verse sees the hero working in a coalmine ("I was digging hard coal at 12 years old"), Papa "Couldn't even get a job with a shotgun"and caught cheating at cards and shot for "15 cents to buy a loaf of bread" It's even got a key change In fact for out and out misery it's only rival is Patches by Clarence Carter. "And then one day a strong rain came and washed all our crops away, At the age of 13 I felt I had the weight of the whole world on my shoulders, Mama knew what I was going through"
The cd it's from is also called Harlan County and although nothing else is as (or possibly could be) as good as it's
title track there is a good cover of To Make My Life Beautiful (there are not enough songs in the world about thinking aloud when you're shaving) and the marvellously monikered Dr Handy's Dandy Candy.

Bit incongruous but followed that with the second gang of 4 lp Gold. Only recently bought the reissue of it as when it originally came out I didn't like it as much as their first one (Entertainment). I was wrong. Well sort of's not as good but it's still a great record. Bands like the Chilli Peppers have obviously been (and admitted) listening hard.
With the likes of Franz Ferdinand (who I'm not convince about, although they did seem to be repeated endlessly on the TV Glastonbury coverage)there are other bands using that sound but the G of 4's approach to the bass drums and guitar still sounds revolutionary. Also really enjoyed the political lyrics. The titles say it all Outside the trains don't run on time , History is bunk or he'd send in the army. It's unusual now, and in
hindsite the band probably weren't as clever as they thought they were.
On a related theme keep meaning to dig out Scritti Politti's Songs To Remember. Big fan of the music but also there was also the great lyrics written by an ex young communist with an interest in philosophy and deconstruction who also understood that sometimes a love songs can just say it all better. A Green Gartside quote that I also like (for that's who we're talking about) relates to when he recorded The Beatles She's a Woman with
Shabba Ranks. Green said " I just kept thinking what does it mean when Shabba sings "Love up your woman now"

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Dexys Midnight Runners

Bought a best of Dexys "Lets make this precious" for the 2 new tracks "Manhood" and "My life in England". Manhood is a winner (even if there are echos of Bye Bye baby in the melody) with plenty of spoken asides from Kev and the feeling that he is desperate for you to know the latest news from his therapist's couch

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Evil dead

Not really a stealth buffet moment...because last nights task was to watch Evil Dead on dvd...which is exactly what i did. Lots of trapdoor rattling and "We're gonna get you we're gonna get you."
The film had some of that too!