• JO'B

Book of Brilliant Things - Five things we’ve loved this week - 9th May

1. That's not a playlist....THIS is a playlist!

Mrs JO'B has headed back to Australia for five weeks to help her parents downsize, so Chez JO'B is briefly once more a bachelor pad. Expect a lot of Marillion played loud while she is away (our marriage vows precluded me playing them in the house). And now the pubs are open again, I am sure mischief will be found to entertain me. But I will miss her lots so here's 25 of my favourite Aussie songs to remind me of her while she's gone.

2. Blitzed - The 80s Blitz Kids Story

I was a big fan of the new romantics and I was definitely Duran over Spandau. But Gary Kemp is fantastic narrating this brilliant look back at the club that helped kick off this period in music. The club brought together so many of the bands and figures that created the New Romantic style, in terms of both music and fashion. Plus the story about Mick Jagger turning up to the Blitz club makes watching this essential viewing.

It's available on Sky Arts and Now TV.


3. Searching For Love: Courtney Love in Liverpool, 1982 - Dave Haslam

At the age of 17 – before Hole, before meeting Kurt Cobain – Courtney Love took a trip to Liverpool. She describes the months she spent in the city in 1982 as ‘one of the most important things of my existence’. In Searching For Love, the third book in his Art Decades series, Dave Haslam explores the stories she’s told of her stay, talks to people who remember her, and celebrates the Liverpool music scene that attracted and inspired her.

It's a fantastic read and left me feeling more sympathetic to Ms Love, not always the easiest person to like. It also gave you a great sense of the early 80s Liverpool music scene. At around 10,000 words, it's a quick read - a Godsend for someone like me with the attention span of a gnat. I've also bought another book from the series - A Life in Thirty-Five Boxes: How I Survived Selling My Record Collection. Must not let Mrs JO'B read this or she will get ideas..


You can order the book from Confingo Publishing and can follow Dave on Twitter (@Mr_Dave_Haslam).


4. Surrounded By Time - Tom Jones

Tom Jones is the first 80 year old man to get a UK number 1 album. Not only that, but it's not some safe reworking of his old hits - it's experimental, psychedelic, unexpected and leaves modern artists like Noel Gallagher looking a bit tragic and outdated. God bless Sir Tom....must go find my best knickers to throw at him when he tours....

A review will follow next week, but you can hear the album here.


5. Classic Albums - Coming Up by Suede - Sky Arts Documentary

Mike Christie’s new documentary on Suede’s 1996 album Coming Up premiered on Sky Arts on Friday, as part of the Classic Albums series. The album proved that not only could they survive the departure of Bernard Butler, they could FLY without him. Coming Up remains a revelation and I can't wait to see them play the album in its entirety at Ally Pally later this year.

It’s available on Sky Arts and NowTV.


See you next week, blogs include a look back at Gary Numan's Replicas and The Pleasure Principle, a review of Tom Jones‘ new album and my top B-sides, plus probably more! Stay safe, x

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