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  • Writer's pictureJO'B

Book of Brilliant Things - Five things we’ve loved this week - 2nd May

Updated: May 4, 2021

1. Vaccines!

So this week both me and Mrs JO'B got our second AZ vaccine - other than a little giddiness, no problems at all. The NHS is amazing!

Seems appropriate to have a quick blast of The Vaccines' marvellous debut album!

2. The new Teenage Fanclub album

One third of their song writers may have left, but despite Gerry Love's departure, the Teenage Fanclub remain resolutely themselves. They are the indie Status Quo, which I think is a marvellous thing. Endless Arcade is fab, expect a review next week.

3. My Rock 'n' Roll Friend - Tracey Thorn

A superb story of friendship between two female musicians that on the face of it are polar opposites - Tracey Thorn, the quiet, introverted singer in The Marine Girls (and later Everything But The Girl) and Lindy Morrison, vivacious, wild drummer in The Go-Betweens, Australia's indie heroes. It's also an examination about how talented women musicians get written out of the story of famous bands. Cannot what to read this. (Thanks to my lovely friend David x!)

4. King Rocker documentary

Mrs JO'B and I saw Stewart Lee play a three and a quarter hour show at the Royal Festival Hall - however much you love him, that's a LOT of Stewart Lee, so we've swerved him a bit since then. The last time I saw him was at a Blue Aeroplanes gig, where he was stood at the back, precariously hanging from a pillar to get a better view of Bristol's indie legends. I love him for that.

And whilst Robert Lloyd and his bands The Prefects and The Nightingales bypassed me in my youth, Stewart’s documentary about them is fantastic, showing how a principled, stubborn and dedicated talent can survive under the radar for four decades and still make idiosyncratic and fiercely independent music for a dedicated fanbase. Thoroughly recommended.

5. 2 Tone - Lives & Legacies - Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry

One of the best gigs I ever saw was The Specials come back at Brixton Academy in 2009 - I have never seen so many men in Fred Perrys in one place. The whole of Brixton was playing 2 tone and ska, it remains one of the most raucous and life affirming nights out I've ever had. It was so good, I did it again two nights later and it was just as good!

2 Tone cut through the turbulant, often bigoted early 80s, with a gaggle of multi-racial ska-pop bands that helps open up fashion, music and racial understanding. Read this fantastic preview in this week's Guardian. The exhibition runs from 28 May to 12 September.

See you next week, blogs include Fake Plastic Tunes - 20 fantastic cover versions, plus a review of new albums by Teenage Fanclub and Imelda May, plus a look back at Gary Numan and Tubeway Army, and The Who's The Who Sell Out. Stay safe, x

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