The Monochrome Set- The Lost Weekend (1985)

I'll never understand it, not if I live to be 100.
When The Monochrome Set, after 6 years, finally did a deal with a major (Warner's), they produced a suitably mainstream LP. The two infectiously poppy singles , Jacob's Ladder and Wallflower should have been massive, but reached numbers 81 and 97 in the charts.
Mismanagement by the label (Blanco y Negro, a WB subsidiary) failed to capitalise on the airplay that Jacob's Ladder was accorded. The video was delayed, the opportunity missed. Hurrah!


Celia and The Mutations- Mony Mony- You Better Believe Me 7" (1977)

Manager of The Stranglers sees a 'posh' woman singing in a restaurant. Thinks wouldn't it be funny - posh woman dirty macho band combination? 2 singles (only JJB on the second; fuck knows who the other 'Young' or 'Fabulous' Mutations (as they were billed ) were). Great punk name, actually derived from Ben Johnson's Volpone(1606) - typical Stranglers- nothing quite what it at first appears. Records not too bad- shortish, fastish, R&B ish- The Stranglers instantly recognisable of course...


Frank Sidebottom, RIP...

Chris Sievey, the man in the outsized papier mache head, has sadly passed away aged 54.


The Expressos- Tango in Mono 7" (1980)

A type of new wave Dusty Springfield sound inspired by acts as diverse as Small Faces and Television, The Expressos released a handful of singles and a solitary LP. They supported many top acts, the most notable being The Jam.
Rozzi Rayner - vocals
Micky Toldi - guitar
Johnnie Christo - bass
Nick Pyall - guitar
Milan Zekavica - drums


The greatest record you've never heard...

Ok, I'll admit that's a sensationalist title for a post, and that many of you will indeed have heard the record in question.
When a few months back I compiled my Desert Island Discs selection I didn't include this song for the following reasons:
1- I had only ever heard it once, fifteen years ago.
2- I wasn't 100% sure of the name of the group.
3- I wasn't sure if it had ever been released.

Rewind to 1995 (I had to look it up).
A guy I work with gives me a lift one day. In his car ( a battered car with a tape deck to match) he plays a tape, not in a 'you've got to listen to this' way, just as background noise. It was a mixtape of garage type bands, The Milkshakes, Thee Headcoats etc.
One song really stood out.
Now this is where the shards of my memory, splintered by years of abuse, fail to come together.
Was he the drummer in this band? I remember that he was a drummer, that's for sure, but did he tell me that he'd been in this band? Or did he just know them? He'd lived in their town until quite recently. I honestly can't remember.
Any way- the other day I found the record on the excellent Shotgun Solution blog.
Here it is. Don't forget to show your appreciation to the original poster.


Anarchist Audiobooks...

Regular contributor Dave Sez has come up with an interesting set of links to anarchist audiobooks. I've po/asted his list into the comments below...


The The- Soul Mining (1983)

The sort of literate, earnest pop that gets music journalists drooling. Never a great commercial success and wary of compromise, Matt Johnson was a key figure in the cerebral, angsty music of the era. By about 1990 nearly everyone I knew had a copy of this highly regarded album.

Matt Johnson - vocals, keyboards, percussion, loops
Anne Stephenson - violin
Martin McCarrick - cello
Paul Boyle - fiddle
Jools Holland - piano
Thomas Leer - synthesizer
Jeremy Meek - bass guitar
Camelle G. Hinds - bass guitar
Andy Duncan - drums
Zeke Manyika - drums
Jim Thirlwell - sticks and tins
Wix- accordion
I know that Johnny Marr joined Johnson in The The in 1989, but apparently Johnson had approached Marr to form a band during 1981. Johnson's loss, our gain?


Time held me green and dying...

Let me tell you about my mother... She's lived in the same house for 59 years, and she never throws anything away. Well, that's not strictly true- she puts out the rubbish just like everybody else, but she has this definite tendency to hoard things. When I was a small boy this had a very strange effect on me- everyday worn out objects, which she had kept for years beyond their usefulness, assumed the air of artifacts on which our stability and well being depended. An old butter knife with a broken horn handle, a cracked hairbrush, a worn out old toothbrush in a glass- everything had its sacred place. She still has drawers full of objects of uncertain provenance , tablets of French chalk, half a stick of sealing wax, that I cannot imagine she could ever live without.
On a positive note of course this means that from time to time some treasure from my childhood crops up.
Here's a topical one...

Pinned to my bib by my cousin in 1966 and still making a 4 yearly appearance in the Walker household.



A Break From The Norm - Various (2001)

This album is a compilation of tracks that Norman Cook sampled during his heyday as Fatboy Slim.

1 Take Yo' Praise- Camille Yarbrough (Praise You)
2 Love Loves to Love Love- Lulu (Santa Cruz)
3 Higher Ground- Ellen McIlwaine (Song for Lindy)
4 Shake Whatcha Mama Gave Ya- Stik E and The Hoodz (Ya Mama)
5 Can't Write Left Handed- Bill Withers (Demons)
6 I Can't Explain- Yvonne Elliman (Going Out of My Head)
7 Let the Rhythm Pump- Doug Lazy (Ya Mama)
8 Beatbox Wash (Rinse It Rmx)- Dust Junkys (Gangster Trippin)
9 Sliced Tomatoes- Just Brothers (The Rockafeller Skank)
10 Young Scene- Keith Mansfield (Punk to Funk)
11 Humpin', Bumpin' and Thumpin'- Andre Willilams (Sho Nuff)
12 I'll Do A Little Bit More- Olympics (Soul Surfing)
13 The Acid Test- Leo Muller (Build It Up - Tear It Down)
14 The Beat Girl- John Barry Seven (The Rockafeller Skank)
15 The Kettle- Colosseum -(Ya Mama)
16 Ashes, The Rain and I- The James Gang (Right Here Right Now)

Between 1998 and 2000 Fatboy Slim had 5 consecutive UK top ten singles.
In July 2002, he performed to an estimated audience of 250,000 (the second of his free open air concerts on Brighton beach).