Blancmange in Electronic Sound Magazine

If you’ve been here before you’re probably aware that I am a big fan of Blancmange, which is why I bought this issue of Electronic Sound. I used to be a subscriber to the publication, but realised that the issues were pilling up and I was simply to getting through them. So I stopped. However, some issues grab my attention occasionally, and this one did.

The issue also came with a 7″ record.

Which is pretty nice all in all.

The interview was insightful, interesting and charming. A lot of the detail I knew already, but there was plenty of stories in there that made me smile.

I don’t know if you can still get this copy online, but if you’re a fan I would recommend it.

Blancmange in Electronic Sound magazine

Blancmange Private View

This is the latest album from one of my favourite bands, and released 40 years after their first album. I bought it on vinyl, CD and cassette. It is a good album and there are some good songs on there. I’ve played the vinyl, which is always a lovely experience, but I doubt that I will ever play the cassette though.

As an album it is good. Some songs are better than others of course. A few are excellent.

Over the years I have listened to almost everything that Blancmange have made, and I hope to continue to do that, and I hope that Blancmange will release many more albums in the years to come.

Modified Toy Orchestra – Silfurberg

I make no secret of the fact that I am a big fan of the Modified Toy Orchestra. In fact I think that they are a national treasure. I have a lot of their material including a 7″ single of their amazing version of ‘Pocket Calculator’. In my view it is a great improvement on the original.

So I was really pleased to see a new release from them, ‘Silfurberg’. I bought it on Bandcamp as that is where I buy most music these days. I got the download included in the purchase of the CD, which arrived recently. The CD itself is a work of art and a beautiful object to have. Here are some pictures (quite a lot of pictures actually).

The album itself is pretty good. I have quite enjoyed it. More than anything though I am just pleased that the Modified Toy Orchestra is still going and doing what it does best.

Tom Waits for no man

Tom Waits for no man flyer

This was the last show I saw at the fringe this year and it was a truly great way to finish off the trip. I have been a fan of Tom Waits since my teenage years, which is why this was of interest. It was brilliant and reminded me just how much I love his music and lyrics. It prompted me to listen to his music again, and since then I’ve been making my way through his entire back catalogue. It has been a very enjoyable experience.

If you get a chance to see this show, I would thoroughly recommend it.

Shriekback, the lyrics

I have enjoyed the music of Shriekback since I first heard ‘My Spine is the Bassline’. I think it was on John Peel’s radio show. Which tells you how long ago that was. I have mostly kept up with their music and also backed the last couple of their crowdfunded albums.

When I found that they were releasing a book of their lyrics I knew that would be something I would enjoy, and I was right. When I got it I have to admit that I was a little disappointed as the lyrics for my favourite songs weren’t included. But never mind, I’ve enjoyed it nevertheless.

It’s not just the lyrics though, it’s the stories behind the lyrics that make it really interesting. Overall I would say that this is a great book for anyone who has enjoyed their music. I’ve certainly enjoyed reading it.

Sleepwalkers

If you’ve been to this site before, then you are probably aware of my fondness for the music of David Sylvian. Sleepwalkers was and is a compilation that came out years ago. A few months ago a new updated version was announced, and I decided to get it. Here are some pictures of the release.

There is only one additional track on this new version, but, even so, I think it was still worth getting.

Escape from New York

I first saw this movie when I was in my early teens. It made a very big impression on me, as did the soundtrack. Since then I’ve watched it a few times.

Recently I have found myself listening to the main theme track so I decided to buy a copy of the DVD. It is still good, at least it is in my opinion anyway. I remembered most of the movie, so nothing really came as a surprise. I actually think that the original movie is better than the remake in 1996, although I did enjoy that too, albeit to a lesser degree.

After watching the original I kept hearing the theme tune for days, so when it turned up on record store day I knew I had to get it.

It’s a lovely record and a great piece of music, from a great film.

The Wire at 40

I have been a subscriber of The Wire for quite some time. Sometimes with breaks, but on the whole a fairly loyal subscriber. I can say that I have enjoyed The Wire on the whole for some twenty years now. I can’t say that I have always understood or made sense of it, and often the music they rate highly does nothing for me. However, that is not the point of The Wire for me, not at all.

I find it at times incredible to see the enormous variety of music produced across the world and The Wire is my window onto that world. Sure, sometimes it is music that does nothing for me, but that doesn’t matter at all. The fact that it is made is what is important.

Every year I read their top albums of the year, and I’m always pleased if I’ve heard three of them. Most years it is less than three though. Even so, each year I do my best to listen to as many of the albums in their chart as possible. It’s always an interesting time.

The Langham Research Centre at Cafe Oto

I first saw the Langham Research Centre at the Barbican last month. I was really impressed by them. So when I got an email from Cafe Oto sent an email about them playing I decided I should go. Cafe Oto is a lovely place to see music, and I even played there once myself.

The LRC were great, as expected, and I also managed to have a quick chat with Robert Worby about sound and the words we use to describe sounds, or rather the fact that we have very few words that actually do describe sounds. It’s an interesting subject and one that needs some thought.

Next I think I need to probably buy some of the recordings. There is plenty on Bandcamp, which is where I will start. I am especially drawn to their piece ‘Gateshead Multi-storey Car Park’.

Fifteen years of Nouvelle Vague

When I first heard Nouvelle Vague I was really amazed. I remember it clearly. It was at WOMAD and they were playing ‘Blue Monday’. Of course it didn’t sound like ‘Blue Monday’. I knew all the words but I could not for the life of me think of what the song was.

Since them I’ve seen them a few times live and have always enjoyed their music, or rather the music they play. So I was looking forward to seeing them again, especially at Union Chapel, which is such an amazing venue.

But I’m sad to say I found them less than inspiring. Firstly there were only four of them and no bass player at all. Their selection of songs was poor. There were some good songs, and in fact they made a good start, but after that it was a little dull. I have no idea if anyone else there had similar thoughts, and there were a lot of people there.

I still like a lot of what they’ve done over the years, but for now, I doubt I’ll go to see them again.