Book of Brilliant Things - Five things we’ve loved this week - 26th September
Updated: Sep 26, 2021
1. Nick Cave sings The Modern Classics! The King Of Alternative Pop
I think it's safe to say this is not an official release, but it looked wonderful in the record shop yesterday and I couldn't resist.
It compiles tracks from various soundtracks and guest appearances including The Velvet Underground's Sunday Morning, The Beatles' Here Comes The Sun, Pulp's Disco 2000, Leonard Cohen's Suzanne plus classics like Mack The Knife. It's great, but I imagine Nick will not be best pleased if he sees it..
I once saw Nick Cave picking up his kids down in Lewes. He was in a three piece brown suit, the jacket nonchalantly thrown over his shoulder, shades on...even doing the most domestic things in life, he looked like Nick Cave. What a dude.
2. Spice Girls - How Girl Power Changed Britain
I love The Spice Girls. This fantastic documentary is streaming on Channel 4 right now. Twenty five years since their debut album Spice, the documentary tells the story of how five British women became a global phenomenon, reflecting and influencing a generation in the process. You forget how game-changing they were, how all encompassing they were. They came from nowhere and then were everywhere.
The documentary includes unseen footage, including the scoring sheets used by their original managers who put the band together - they are shockingly offensive. Patriarchal twats who didn't give a damn about them. You find yourself applauding them as they took control of their own career, twice firing their managers - they made the decisions and fuck the consequences. Geri may have appropriated the Riot Grrrl scene's "girl power" slogan, but to great effect. As journalist Miranda Sawyer says, if that led young women to the harder stuff, then great.
Plus the songs were good. Really, really good.
Spice Girls - How Girl Power Changed Britain is available on channel4.com.
3. Never Mind The Buzzcocks - it's back, Back, BACK!
It's back! Greg Davies fronts its return - "The escalation of climate change. Brexit. Greece going bankrupt. Trump. The rise of the far-right. A global pandemic that’s crushed all economies. All since Buzzcocks went away. Coincidence? Get ready to heal, world".
Noel Fielding returns as a team captain (“like a Goth back to a flame”) opposite newcomer Daisy May, star of BBC's This Country. Stand-up Jamali Maddix is the regular guest and is a fab addition.
It's great stuff - I was laughing out loud in the gym when Mike Nolan from Buck's Fizz was asked if he used botox...well worth a look.
Never Mind The Buzzcocks streams on NOW TV.
4. Damon Albarn
Loving the new material from Damon Albarn. Royal Morning Blue is rhythmic, cool, gorgeous. Cannot wait for the new album.
5. New records: Public Service Broadcasting and Chic
Friday = trip to to the splendid Casbah Records in Greenwich. Alongside the rather strange Nick Cave album, I got these two great acquisitions.
Bright Magic is Public Service Broadcasting's fourth album. It's themed around Berlin and its history. It's ambitious, thrilling, futuristic and also retrospective, it's weird, Bowie-esque in places. With most of the lyrics in German, it sounds like Propaganda meets Bladerunner meets Kraftwerk meets New Order. Love it.
As well as listening to something so futuristic, I have also delved back into the past with C'est Chic, CHIC's greatest hits. It's brilliant stuff, but Bernard Edward's bass playing is just extraordinary. Strange fact - I had no idea CHIC based their original album covers on early Roxy Music, trying to capture that sense of glamour, sex appeal and style.
See you next week, stay safe, x