Archives for May 2010

Playlist 27 May

Bradley's Blog Admin | 09:39 UK time, Friday, 28 May 2010

It's good to see half of the Clash now in gainful employment and on course to headline Glastonbury this year. Mick Jones and Paul Simonon are currently part of Gorillaz, of course but I'm sure Damon Albarn knows their place (and his) in the great punk rock pantheon. Is there a chance they'll do 'White Riot' as an encore ? Not according to some reports that Mick Jones, in the later phases of The Clash (just before he was sacked) refused to play the song, considering it 'crude and musically inept'. I refuse to believe that he refused to play it. It's a record that still sounds as crisp as Paul Simonon's Sta-Prest trousers were in 1977.

Clash - White Riot
Wire - The 15th
X - The Once Over Twice
Riff Doctors - Turn Me On
Pop Rivets - Disco Fever
Madness - Believe Me
Wreckless Eric - Whole Wide World
Ultravox! - Young Savage
Devo - Satisfaction
Take It - Armchairs
Monochrome Set - The Mating Game
Iggy Pop - Consolation Prizes
Psycho Surgeons- Wild Weekend
Siouxsie & The Banshees - Christine
Vibrators - Stiff Little Fingers
B-People - Give Up


Not big in Prague

Bradley's Blog Admin | 20:35 UK time, Sunday, 23 May 2010

Around two years ago I developed a theory that 'Teenage Kicks' was the new 'Hi Ho Silver Lining'. I came to that conclusion after a rash of sightings (hearings?) of the song at wedding receptions. Not weddings that I had attended, but that friends and acquaintances had been at. The song had been making appearances after the turkey and ham and sticky toffee pudding, when the DJ put it on and 'the floor was filled' according to eyewitnesses. Being associated with a 'floor filler' is not an unpleasant experience, although I suspect it was just a phase wedding DJs were going through.  I mention this because a mention of the record came up suddenly when I was reading an article in the Observer Magazine this morning, while getting sunburnt in the garden. A writer called Toby Litt was telling the story of his time in Prague in 1990 just after the Velvet Revolution. It was a time when Prague people (Pragunians?) were still excited by their new found freedom, when the country was open to new ideas and Westerners went there for more than just stag nights. Toby found himself teaching English and was enjoying life in Czechoslovakia. He was enjoying himself so much he and a few friends decided to hold the country's first acid house party. He hired the hall, organised a sound system, ordered 740 bottles of beer, and the night was a great success. Until he put on a record by The Undertones. He said the crowd were getting so overexcited that the moshing became too violent. Wanting to calm them down, he put on 'Teenage Kicks'.
"The room emptied" says Toby.
I've never been to Prague. Doesn't look like I'll be going there anytime soon, does it?

Playlist 20 May

Bradley's Blog Admin | 21:42 UK time, Thursday, 20 May 2010

It's Cityofculturamalamadingdong here at the moment but I still manage to start the show tonight with a song from Belfast, as much in honour of Terri Hooley as anything else. I was in his presence last weekend and can still feel a warm glow which resulted from the encounter. Only a fool would disagree that Rudi's 'Big Time' single is as important a Belfast cultural artefact as anything inside the Ulster Museum.
Also, a nod of congratulations to Mr Weller, whose blowing out 52 candles on his cake next Tuesday. Am I the only one who still plays songs from the Jam's 'In The City' LP ? Or does Paul himself sneak a copy into the CD player when no one else is in the car ?

Rudi - Big Time
The Jam - I Got By In Time
Nipple Erectors - Venus In Bovver Boots
Guana Batz - See Through
Specials - Dawning Of A New Era
June Brides - Sick, Tired And Drunk
Half Man Half Biscuit - Venus In Flares
New York Dolls - Jet Boy
Nightingales - Use Your Loaf
Standells - Why Pick On Me
The Mumps - Did You Get The Girl
Patti Smith - Piss Factory
Gymslips - Some Girls
Angelic Upstarts - Do Anything
School Meals/Defendants - Headmasters

Yes, It Was Like Punk Never Happened

Bradley's Blog Admin | 20:38 UK time, Monday, 17 May 2010

I had a few unpleasant flashbacks when I found myself unable to switch off BBC2 80s revival the other night. I thought we'd already gone through the Eighties revival and it was now safe to watch TV again, but never mind. "Girls And Boys-Sex And British Pop" was a sometimes serious look at what for me was a dark period in musical history. For most other people, of course, it was a bit of light relief after all that punk rock nonsense. Dressing up, going out dancing, eyeliner for everyone in the audience, what's not to enjoy ?  The records, that's what. For every brilliant single like Tainted Love there were three Spandau Ballet hits.ballet.jpg True, Gold and that other one where they wore kilts. Do you still listen to them on the ipod ? Did you ever want to learn the chords of any Spandau Ballet song, they way I wanted to learn the chords of White Riot ?
Duran Duran have have been the beneficiaries of a lot of historical revisionism recently but there are some of us who remember the suits, the yachts and the floppy hair and wishing Sid was still alive, if only to leer at them and ruin their good suits with a well aimed can of Steiger. The rule of the New Romantics may have meant more handsome devils on Top Of The Pops but it lacked the thrill of seeing undesirables like The Lurkers being introduced by Tony Blackburn. Having said all that, I'm away to watch the Boy George film on iPlayer. I did like Culture Club. Couldn't eat a whole one, of course.

Playlist 13 May

Bradley's Blog Admin | 09:49 UK time, Friday, 14 May 2010

Next Tuesday marks the thirtieth anniversary of Ian Curtis's very untimely death so a small nod in the direction of Joy Division is appropriate tonight. I chose the Unknown Pleasures version of She's Lost Control over the 12 inch because I like the way it almost falls apart at the end. The Ramones demo version of I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend shows evidence that jangly guitars may be somewhere on their first LP, buried under Johnny Ramone's barre chord barrage. Archeologists are making their way to New York as I write.

Boys - First Time Ramones - I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend (demo)
Gun Club - Devil In The Woods
Joy Division - She's Lost Control
Triffids - Dear Miss Lonely Hearts
Echo & The Bunnymen - Monkeys
That Petrol Emotion - Lettuce
Flys - Love & A Molotov Cocktail
Girls At Our Best! - Fast Boyfriends
The Fall - The Man Whose Head Expanded
Mo-Dettes - Satisfy
Velvet Underground - New Age
Primal Scream - Velocity Girl

State Visit Of Punk Rock Icon A Success

Bradley's Blog Admin | 17:27 UK time, Saturday, 8 May 2010

There was a mature collection of Ramones fans in Derry on Friday night to see the last surviving original member of the Fab Four (NYC) in the flesh. Tommy Ramone now plays mandolin as one half of Uncle Monk, a bluegrass duo with Claudia Tienan. He also fields questions, signs autographs and poses for photographs with the patience of St Ramone of Forest Hills after a great set of bluegrass songs, mostly from his own pen. Also from his own pen was "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" from the first Ramones LP. It fitted perfectly with the rest of the set which reinforced his theory that bluegrass and punk weren't as far apart in terms of songs as you might think. Earlier I interviewed Tommy for a future After Midnight, mainly about the first three Ramones LPs - the ones he played drums on. His favourite is the band's third, "Rocket To Russia". He told me the Brothers had high hopes for its commercial success but in the autumn of 1977 America still wasn't ready to buy Ramones records in any great number. The non-appearance in the upper reaches of the Billboard charts greatly discouraged some members of the band, Johnny in particular. On the other hand Joey, the singer, operated on the principle that the next one will be the hit. That optimism, added to the thrill of meeting a genuine punk rock hero, still gives me a warm inner glow.  

Punk show victim of democracy

Bradley's Blog Admin | 14:08 UK time, Friday, 7 May 2010

The After Midnight programme was one of the early losers as the General Election results came in. The airwaves were needed for coverage of the democratic process. Fair enough.
Sorry if you feel starved of vintage punk rock records this week. Complain to your new MP.
As I write I am awaiting the visit of Tommy Ramone to Radio Foyle this afternoon where I'm sure he'll give his analysis of the results so far. Either that or he'll talk about his bluegrass band, Uncle Monk, who are on tour at the moment and are, by all accounts, brilliant. 

Dexter Does Good

Bradley's Blog Admin | 22:29 UK time, Tuesday, 4 May 2010

One of the first, youngest, funniest and best punk bands in the UK were The Cortinas, from Bristol. OK, there's never going to be a box set of their finest moments but they did make two great singles on the Step Forward label in 1977. Their first was Fascist Dictator, which wasn't about fascism or dictators, but about love. Of course. The b-side was brilliant too. Television Families. Some kind creative soul has made a very amusing video for it on YouTube. 
The Cortinas followed that single with Defiant Pose which was good, but not as good as the picture sleeve which showed a nice middle class family kitchen with the teenage boy throwing up behind his parents. After this CBS records signed them up, gave them some money and put them in a proper recording studio to make an LP. It wasn't as good as their first two singles and The Cortinas put on the handbrake, wound up the windows, locked the doors and walked away in 1978. (The car reference had to make an appearance some time.)
I tell you this because the bass player with The Cortinas was a 16 year old called Dexter Dalwood who has just been nominated for The Turner Prize. He's now a very successful painter, and the bookies' favourite to win the prize later this year. Of course, he'll never regain the artistic heights he reached with his chums in The Cortinas in 1977 but you can't have it all.

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