Book of Brilliant Things - Five things we’ve loved this week - 17th October
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
1. You Should Always Check Your Emails
I am a bugger for not checking the blog‘s email account. I tend to have a quick look on Sundays and that's about it. I have now learnt my lesson.
On Monday I received an email from Lois at BBC Essex - "hope you would be up for a chat with us about the Rick Astley/Blossoms gig you went to! We’re discussing it on our show tomorrow morning and would love to get your thoughts on it".
Would I be up for it? I would have been ecstatic. But I did not see the email until Thursday, when I noticed a message request on FB. My chance for fame lost (ok, a two minute interview on BBC Essex, but still pretty cool!). I was distraught.
But you've got to look on the bright side - someone read my review of the Rick Astley and Blossoms play The Smiths gig and thought it was worth getting me to talk to the good people of Essex early on a Wednesday morning. That's pretty cool in my (rather limited) book. I am gutted, but am now vigilantly checking my emails every 6 seconds...never again will I miss an invitation to speak on regional radio.
Fame, fame, almost fame...
2. The flat that Indie rock built
I live in a flat in a Georgian house. It's lovely, but occasionally needs work. It's small, so to maximise the space we need shelves. Lots of shelves. So Melanie Woods has built us some amazing book shelves and is now building us some new shelves to increase the space for the ever growing vinyl collection.
Mel Woods is also the drummer in Joanne Joanne (the magnificent all-female Duran Duran tribute band) and formerly drummer in Sidi Bou Said. She also built some shelves for my CDs 20 years ago, telling me of her Sidi connection, thinking I would never have heard of them. Not only had I heard of them, but I had seen them in The Cavern in Exeter and me and Stevey had shooed off an unwanted admirer after their set, and bought the band a drink (we were gallant charmers...who knew?). It's a small world. And she is a brilliant carpenter.
We are now getting our sash windows repaired and The Sash Guy is coming next week to quote. The Sash Guy is, of course, Guy Chadwick from The House Of Love. Yowser. I am very excited. Which album do I casually leave out in the hope he'll sign it? I think it's got to be their last album, so he knows I am not a fair-weather fan....he must have to deal with this and middle-aged, starry-eyed music fans a lot, poor chap. Apparently, he is also very good at his job too, so our flat will soon be the flat that indie rock built (or at least upkept)
So my question is this... do members of Adorable repair brick work, and could do some re-pointing and blast our side and back walls back to the original London brick colour? Do members of Cud offer boiler servicing? Do Kitchens Of Distinction now actually fit new kitchens? If Miki from Lush now repairs Georgian floorboards, let me know! Drop me an email (at my now ridiculously frequently checked email account...).
3. The Wedding Present - 24 Songs
Back in 1992, The Wedding Present released a single each month - the A-side an original, the B-side a cover version. I remember jealously eyeing my housemate Andy Jones' copy of Blue Eyes, the first in the series. They sold out ridiculously quickly.
So 30 years on, in 2022 The Wedding Present will be performing the same trick again. 12 singles, released each month. I am assuming the b-side will be a cover, but who knows. I've ordered a subscription so no more jealousy or pointless traipsing to Exeter's Our Price like I did in 1992, failing to get the singles and having to settle for the singles compiled into the 2 Hit Parade albums.
It's an old trick, but a good 'un so can't wait for January 2022!
4. New albums
This week's trip to Casbah Records left the soon to be fitted shelves three records heavier:
She Drew The Gun's Behave Myself is their third album, more pop with a psychedelic edge (Rough Trade referred to lead singer Louisa Roach as another "cosmic scouser", not sure what I think of that!). It's a protest album, railing against misogyny, capitalism and more, with a fuzzy, guitars pop edge. Fabulous stuff.
Shannon Lay - Geist is her fifth album, all gentle indie folk, subtle keys and finger picking guitar. Her cover of Syd Barrett's Late Night is sublime. It's elegant, understated and chilled.
The Courettes are a garage rock duo from Brazil and Denmark and third album, Back In Mono is 60s doo-wop, girl group rock and roll. You can hear the hand of Spector in its Wall Of Sound production style - thundering drums and perfect pop combined. R.I.N.G.O. is the standout for me, declaring their adoration for the one and only Sir Richard Starkey.
All three are well worth a listen, and please support local record shops like Casbah Records in Greenwich. They are important!
5. National Album Day
I wasn't bowled away by yesterday's National Album Day - the releases seemed to focus on things I have, or things I did not want. It was all a bit obvious. But it was great to see a focus on female artists. The music industry has a lot more to do though than just dedicate a record release day to female artists.
Anyway, here's ten of my favourite albums by women artists, no explanations, just go give them a blast today and revel in their brilliance! And in no order:
Confessions Of A Romance Novelist - The Anchoress
Sometimes I Sit Around And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit - Courtney Barnett
Chris - Christine and the Queens
I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You - Aretha Franklin
Le Kov - Gwenno
I'm Not Your Man - Marika Hackman
Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea - PJ Harvey
The Navigator - Hurray For The Riff Riff
Dap-Dippin' With - Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
The Modern Age - Sleeper
See you next week, stay safe, x