Book of Brilliant Things - Five things we’ve loved this week - 6th June
1. New Wolf Alice Album
It's a long time since I've seen an indie band mature and grow quite so quickly as this lot. Third album, Blue Weekend, is stupendous. A massive leap on from their first two albums. It's swaggering, bold and HUGE. A review will follow, but only when I have calmed down long enough to write one....
2. Later with Jools Holland - Gabriels
Gotta love a bit of Jools, though I know he's not everyone's cup of char. But it would be churlish to deny Later has been a consistent show ground for new talent. This week's show included a performance by Gabriels, an LA based group made up of singer Jacob Lusk and producers Ari Balouzian and Ryan Hope. I literally don't know how to describe their sound, but they are simultaneously retro and the future happening in perfect harmony. Check out their performance of Love And Hate In A Different Time.
Their new EP is out now.
3. Toyah and Robert Fripp
One of the highlights of lockdown has been the generally bonkers kitchen performances by husband and wife Toyah and Robert Fripp of seemingly random songs. Studious, introverted guitar hero Fripp, prog rock God and occasional Bowie collaborator is known for his serious experimentation.
Watching him belt out Enter Sandman by Metallica in his kitchen whilst his wonderfully nuts wife hollers out the song whilst riding an exercise bike, Fripp clearly mesmerised by her nipples visibly protruding for all the world to see was just magnificent. But last week's version of Paranoid by Black Sabbath makes that look quite restrained...I do hope they keep going with this, you forget how eccentric and marvellous Toyah is. Fair play to them both, they have been stars.
How she persuaded Fripp to shave his hair, muster a mohican and wear make-up boggles the mind. Truly love them both.
You can subscribe to their YouTube channel here.
4. Gary Kemp's I Know This Much
Another joy through lockdown has been the Rockonteurs podcast with Gary Kemp from Spandau Ballet and Guy Pratt from Pink Floyd and many other bands (see my blog - Round Round Round Round, I Get Around). Gary's interview style carries the podcast, and my lovely friend Lozzer got me his book for my birthday. Only just started this autobiography, but it's a cracking read so far.
5. 1971 - The Year That Music Changed Everything
This 8-part series looks at how music both reflected and caused the times, as society was dominated by Vietnam War, revolution, civil rights etc. Plus it was a period when music started to innovate again after the end of the 60s. With input from the brilliant Dave Hepworth, this is well worth a look.
Available on Apple TV.
See you next week, blogs include reviews of the new albums by Wolf Alice, Liz Phair and Juliana Hatfield, a look back at The Kinks and more. Stay safe, x