Do you have hallucinatory visions of The Chuckle Brothers?

Mojo readers – is it wrong to like that cover of ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da‘ by Gabriella Cilmi that’s on this month’s free CD? Clearly, it’s dreadful, wrong and naughty, but something about it got under my skin. Surreal, to say the least. Not a great start, I know, wittering on about a track you’ll only know if you buy a certain magazine. Not unusual, either.

The post had a few surprises in it today. Firstly, the new Herman Dune album, ‘Next Year In Zion’, which is really rather good. Never taken to them in the past, but, on first impressions, it sounds splendid. They haven’t changed particularly, perhaps I have.

Secondly, a new album from Misty’s Big Adventure! Oh yes! The last one only came out towards the end of last year, but even so there is more to delight, thrill and confuzzle your ears. ‘Television’s People’ is a concept album about a troubled man seeking solace in daytime stodge who ends up getting sucked into the TV. Delightfully bizarre, but not especially surprising when it comes to Misty’s. If you’ve not yet had the pleasure of this lot  then a) you’re not a long-standing, loyal reader of the Vinyl Junkies internet presence (fair enough, really) and b) you’re in for an absolute treat. Start with the album, ‘The Black Hole’ and then buy everything else. Anyhoo, this album is wonderfully good and comes with a quite brilliant press release by Grandmaster Gareth (the head honcho). I truly hope the good folk of Misty’s and SL records won’t mind that I’ve temporarily placed track 10, ‘There Is Hope’ on the Muxtape, simply because of its comic genius. It documents the daytime commercials coming alive in the head of the man at the centre of the story and he starts to believe that the telly is talking to him. Superb. Naturally, if anyone’s pissed off at its presence on the Mux, please let me know and it’ll disappear rapidly. That also goes for any of the new bands whose material I’ve popped on there as a taster for those who’d like to go and spend their hard earned quids on some independent releases.

As I believe I mentioned the other day, I was off on my jolly holidays last week and upon arrival I was heartened by the lack of phone reception and utterly shite TV signal. I was subsequently startled when I turned on the DAB radio and had the strongest reception I’ve ever had. Figure that out. Anyway, as a result of that, I ended up spending some time with 6music outside of the Gideon Coe show. In particular, I spent a few afternoons with the ever-delightful Lammo. Only the other week I was praising his blog and now it’s the turn of his radio show. His ‘New Favourite Band’ feature is a logical extension of what he’s been doing on the radio for years and years. Quite simply, each week he identifies a new act to which he’s taken a shine. Last week it was Tom Williams & The Boat. It’s a good band name that. Although the name at the start is nothing out of the ordinary, by adding ‘& The Boat‘ on the end, the name is suddenly memorable. It would’ve been enough to keep it lodged in my mind until I got back to the world of Google. Obviously, I’m geeky enough that if I ever happen upon music I like when I can’t do anything about it, I save the name of act and song as a draft text message, but if I wasn’t a geek, I’d still have been able to remember their name.

Anyway, we got sidetracked there. Tom Williams & The Boat’s latest release is the ‘Got Fuel EP’, which you can get from this website. It’s a delightful little package, coming as it does in a PVC sleeve with a wraparound sleeve made of glossy photos stuck to sugar paper. Inside, you get two more photos, a lyric sheet and, of course, the rather splendid CD. ‘Got Fuel’ is a delightfully woozy indie singalong that has been going round in my head for the best part of this week. To confuse matters, there’s a song called ‘Pete & The Pirates’ that actually sounds like a menacing version of The Young Republic and ‘Half Mast’ contains one of my current favourite lyrical refrains; “I don’t have a hoodie set at half mast, sitting on my fringe like  balaclava on my chin.” I’m not putting it on the Mux because I think the bloke deserves £6 for that alone.

The whole EP is great but, should you want more convincing, over on the main TW&TB site there are loads of free downloads, including some rather amusing covers. Treat yourself.

One final act of note today. Our Broken Garden are a new act on the, quite superb, Bella Union label. She – for it is only one woman, Anna Broensted of Efterklang – had an EP out back in April called, ‘Lost Sailor’ and there’s a new album on the way in September, entitled ‘When Your Blackening Shows’. Nothing else to tell, I’m afraid, but you can be thoroughly enchanted by the tunes over at the Myspace page.



It was the first game of the Rugby World Cup. Did you really expect me to be here?

The Bat For Lashes album was waiting for me when I got in yesterday and I already feel a little slack for not having explored it sooner. The performance at the Mercury awards was fantastic, almost bettering the quite sublime offering from Maps, and led to an almost immediate purchase from the very reasonable, Action Records. Having shouted myself hoarse supporting the Argentine underdogs last night I’ve finally had a chance to listen to it this morning and it’s actually better and more consistent than I’d hoped it would be. Something about the fragile, haunting live track made me suspect that such aural claustrophobia wouldn’t translate to a full album, but it never relents.
I was rather delighted to be reminded of Mazzy Star by ‘Seal Jubilee‘, while the inevitable Bjork comparisons are no less than accurate, although it’s definitely early Bjork. Not sure when I last listened to ‘Volta‘, but I feel like it’s something I have to mentally prepare myself for. I’m a sucker for the piano, and similar more bizarrely named instruments on records, and ‘Fur and Gold‘ has plenty of it. I can same with some certainty that this is one that will be played regularly here, and for once the Mercury has done something good. Obviously it still gave the award to The Klaxons, to ensure that people aren’t too satisfied, but a C+ for effort.
The good folk at Norm have come good on the vinyl of ‘BFI‘ by The Dragons, finally. There’s a great deal of muttering going on about this record on the interweb. A surf-psych/funk/soul record recorded 37 years ago and then abandoned due to the lack of ‘a hit’ is the official line from Ninja Tune. Seems perfectly plausible to me, but certain know-it-alls are claiming that it sounds too ‘clean’ to have been made back then. Who knows, eh? All I can say for certain is that it sounds great and is worth ten of your earth pounds.
Finally, I’ve just finished playing the new Misty’s Big Adventure 7″. Oh, how I love this band. ‘I Can’t Bring The Time Back‘ is a slightly less ‘kitchen-sink’ pop nugget, but the real gem is on the flipside. ‘Serious Thing‘ is a pounding little beast of a tune that is the most ballsy thing they’ve done to date. Well worth hunting down on Club Fandango records.
Hmmm. Time for more rugby methinks.