1. The The's Comeback
Back in June 2018, I was lucky enough to get tickets to see The The's comeback show at the Royal Albert Hall (thanks Ben and Jackie!). It was mesmerising (and so good, I saw them at Brixton the next night).
The RAH show has finally been released as an album, and it's wonderful, reminding you what an incredible, tight band Matt Johnson put together. Although it leaned heavily on Dusk, it's a career spanning set. Fingers crossed The The are back live soon, after Matt's recent health issues. One of the greatest live bands I have ever seen.
2. Billy Idol - Bitter Taste
Billy Idol is back, Back, BACK! Never my favourite 80s punk rocker, but you have to love Rebel Yell and White Wedding, don't you? But this song, from his new EP is quite marvellous. Stately, age appropriate and very cool. Who knew? Thanks for the tip, Gill!
3. Joy Division: Juvenes - Kevin Cummins
Mrs JO'B bought me the new, expanded edition of photographer Kevin Cummins' book published more than a decade ago, now with added interviews and unpublished photographs
This definitive collection of the Joy Division photographs of Kevin Cummins, including new interviews with Joy Division's surviving members, Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris.
Originally published in 2007 in an ultra-limited run of just 226 copies, Juvenes consists of Kevin's selection of pictures from his Joy Division archive, accompanied by short personal essays and memories from the band's family, contemporaries and fans and from several writers including Ian Rankin, David Peace and Ian Curtis' daughter, Natalie.
Despite (or because of?) Ian's early death, Joy Division have cast a long shadow on music, and these photos give a sense of them live, in the studio etc. Well worth a look if you are a bit obsessive about them...
4. Curious Creatures podcast
Loving the new podcast by The Cure's Lol Tolhurst and Budgie, erstwhile drummer in Siouxsie and the Banshees. Curious Creatures is a mix of musician interviews and their shared thought on topics like religion.
It's the Goth equivalent of Gary Kemp and Guy Pratt's Rockonteurs (Gothonteurs, anyone?). I love their streamline - "you may know the territory, but we wrote the map". Marvellous.
5. We're S.H.O.P.P.I.N.G, we're shopping...
So I took a quick trip to visit the new Bowie Pop-up shop in Heddon Street (where the cover of Ziggy Stardust was photographed). Irritatingly, it was closed for a private function, so I wandered over to Carnaby Street, where of course there are now shops for both The Rolling Stones and Queen, as well as Third Man Records, round the corner on Marshall Street.
The latter was a bit "all fur coat, no kickers", while the Stones and Queen shops were crass and cheesy. But where will it end? Half Man Half Biscuit surely are next? Pet Shop Boys will surely open....well, it's fairly obvious, isn't it?
Disappointingly, the Stones shop was not inspired by the corner shop on BBC's Stella Street. It would have been much better if it had been!
Mick and Keef's Corner Shop:
See you next week, stay safe, x