Archives for February 2008

A Bomb Deal

Stuart Bailie | 15:17 UK time, Thursday, 28 February 2008

Stuart Bailie.jpgThe run-up to the release of the second Oppenheimer album is very exciting. And while they’re a modest operation, they know that they’ve done something special, that the new music will deliver extra thrills to the people. I’ve heard snippets and they rock, in a uniquely melodic way.

Last year I took a few casual snaps of Rocky and Shaun, and they liked the results. I’ve got a clunky rangefinder camera from the early ’70s, which has an old-school analogue charm. It cost £30 on ebay, which is a bonus.

oppenheimer2_410.jpgTherefore I did another session with the pair, and happily, they came out fine. This is a shot of them in the studio, giving it loads into the lens of the lucky Canonet.

Stu Bailie presents The Late show on Radio Ulster, every Friday from 10pm until midnight. See his playlist here.

Give Pierce A Chance

Stuart Bailie | 19:11 UK time, Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Stuart Bailie.jpgMust say, I’m looking forward to seeing Jason Pierce and Spiritualized at the Mandela Hall, Belfast, May 29. He’s like a vintage breed in that he understands the old rock and roll stance; grace under pressure, emotions revealed without unnecessary drama, the music pared and precise.

spiritualized.jpgHe was awesome at the Lisburn Island Arts Centre a few years ago. More so because he was in a smart little venue that responds to the sense of occasion. When someone mentioned this cool setting to the man, shortly before showtime, he winced, ever so slightly. And then he explained, that when he had been presented by his manager with a list of potential tour dates, he chose this one because… he thought it said Lisbon. Oh well...


Stu Bailie presents The Late show on Radio Ulster, every Friday from 10pm until midnight. See his playlist here.

Playlist 22.02.07

Stuart Bailie | 21:46 UK time, Sunday, 24 February 2008

Stuart Bailie.jpgWhile I was gallivanting at the Waterfront last Friday, my radio show was pre-recorded: a return of the whistling in rock special, followed by a delightful combo, “Listen With Mozzer”, filled with various songs written and covered by Morrissey.

It was also a good reason to feature the MJ Hibbert track, ‘Lesson Of The Smiths’. The music is a homage to ‘This Charming Man’, while the lyric is a pertinent message about snobbery in popular culture. MJ Hibbert remembers with some shame that he didn’t like Morrissey’s music because he thought Smiths fans were saddo losers. And of course, you should pay attention to the tunes and not the constituency. Good call, MJ.


The Smiths, The Boy With The Thorn In His Side (Rough Trade)
The Pretenders, Everyday is Like Sunday (Rhino)
smithscover.jpgSandie Shaw, Jeanne (Rough Trade)
Morrissey, Now My Heart Is Full (EMI)
MJ Hibbett & The Validators, The Lesson Of The Smiths (AAS)
The Smiths, This Charming Man (Rough Trade)
David Bowie, I Know It's Gonna Happen (EMI)
Morrissey, Redondo Beach (Attack)
The High Llamas, Frankly, Mr Shankly (Les Inrockuptibles)
Morrissey, Cosmic Dancer (EMI)
Schneider TM, The Light 3000 (City Slang)
Morrissey, Moon River (EMI)


Stu Bailie presents The Late show on Radio Ulster, every Friday from 10pm until midnight. See his playlist here.

Pieces Of Fate

Stuart Bailie | 19:30 UK time, Saturday, 23 February 2008

Stuart Bailie.jpgSo Terri Hooley got his dues at the Fate Awards last night. There was always a chance that he would turn his acceptance speech into some kind of tirade, but he kept his cool, was gracious about his Legend Award and saved his contempt for the arsonists who burnt him out of the North Street Arcade. Then Panama Kings came on and played a belter version of ‘Teenage Kicks’ on the Waterfront Stage.

fate250.jpgIt was an interesting night, a meeting of gastro-pubs and moshpits, BT9 and Route 66. Ruby Wax insulted most of the local celebrities and had trouble with the place names. James Nesbitt was amusing, Ronan Keating paid tribute to the late Jim Aiken and when the aftershows were finished, we headed back to Oh Yeah for the after-aftershow.

That’s when the details become a little vague. But I do remember an all-star version of ‘Teenage Kicks’, some songs by Iain Archer and Ciaran Gribben, aka Joe Echo. Another turn, John D’Arcy had learnt off a bunch of Good Vibrations songs, including ‘Self Conscious Over You’, which was witnessed by the original Outcasts singer, Greg Cowan. The old fella was touched.

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Later, we bellowed out a version of the Them classic, ‘Gloria’. Left to right in the photo is Terri Hooley, Niall Kennedy from the Panama Kings, soccer hero Gerry Armstrong, Gary Lightbody and myself. Hilarious. The head is still sore.

Stu Bailie presents The Late show on Radio Ulster, every Friday from 10pm until midnight. See his playlist here.

Vaux Pop

Stuart Bailie | 09:16 UK time, Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Stuart Bailie.jpgHere’s my autographed cover of ‘Vauxhall And I’. While I don’t normally solicit signatures, in this instance there’s was a point to the request. It was 1994 and I had queued for a considerable time outside the HMV by Manchester’s Arndale Centre. I wanted to meet Morrissey, to converse with the singer and this was my only chance.

morrissey.jpgLet me explain. In August 1992, Morrissey played a show at Finsbury Park, supporting Madness. In front of an audience of seig-heiling skinheads, he paraded the Union Jack and sang a series of songs that were dangerously ambiguous. At this stage, the Moz songbook contained tracks such as ‘Asian Rut’, Bengali In Platforms’ and ‘We’ll Let You Know’. At an NME editorial the following Tuesday, we decided to start a public debate. It was the moment when the paper and the artist were officially divorced. Things haven’t been the same since.

There was no response from Morrissey, no attempt to clarify the debate, and so the story festered. But when ‘Vauxhall And I’ appeared, it seemed like a more contrite record. There was tenderness, an appeal for compassion, and a closing track called ‘Speedway’ that seemed to ask the judge and jury for some kind of a reprieve.

I wrote a constructive review and the word came back throught the Moz office that he was glad to have been given a fair hearing. So when we heard that the singer was doing HMV signings in London and Manchester, we decided to deliver a score of NME writers into the queue, each bearing a question. When the answers were collated, we would have a feature for the paper and perhaps some resolution to the debate.

moz3.jpgOf course it ended in chaos and comedy. The London signing was cut short, and so myself and John Harris took it to Manchester, talking to fans in the queue, building up a story. Finally I met the man, got my CD signed and we exchanged a few words. We had our cover story, albeit a slightly mad one.

The Morrissey controversy has resumed again, as reported here. The difference is that the artist was quick to react, issuing a denial and forging links with the Love Music Hate Racism organisation. All good.

So I’m inclined to believe that while he has a romantic and deluded view of little England in the old days, I don’t believe it’s a malicious one. I still play his music and the best of it moves me uniquely. Therefore in the second hour of this Friday’s show, I’ll dedicate an hour to ‘Listen With Mozzer’. Lots of Smiths tunes and tracks covered by Sandi Shaw, The Pretenders, Schneider TM, plus some charming surprises.


Stu Bailie presents The Late show on Radio Ulster, every Friday from 10pm until midnight. See his playlist here.

You've Got Male

Stuart Bailie | 20:00 UK time, Sunday, 17 February 2008

Stuart Bailie.jpgOn Saturday night we shouted at the telly when Duke Special won his Meteor Award for Best Irish Male. The fella looked properly surprised and made a right haimes of his acceptance speech. But we don’t celebrate him for his public speaking skills, rather the soul, the fun and the musicality. I’ve heard a few snatches of his upcoming Kurt Weill / Huckleberry Finn EP and it’s another intrepid dimension. His award may also make up for the sad night two years ago when he didn’t win the Choice Music Prize and his van was burgled outside the venue, costing him a stack of CDs and merchandise.

The Meteor billing for Gary Lightbody and Lisa Hannigan suggested that they were singing ‘Some Surprise’ in public for the first time. Not true. They managed this on May 5, 2007 at the Oh Yeah Open Day in Belfast. I believe there may even be a bootleg film of it out there. Here’s a still of it anyway.
gary410.jpg

Like Duke, I’m not anticipating an acceptance speech at the Irish Blog Awards on March 1 in Dublin. But I’m touched to be on the shortlist for Best Music Blog. There’s a frenzy of ideas out there, and I’d say the smart money music be on nialler9, who is batting away impressively, shaming the older hacks with all that energy.

Stu Bailie presents The Late show on Radio Ulster, every Friday from 10pm until midnight. See his playlist here.

Playlist 15.02.08

Stuart Bailie | 15:08 UK time, Saturday, 16 February 2008

Stuart Bailie.jpgA decent part of last night's show was spent investigating the Belfast-Nashville Songwiriter's Festival, which is active next week. Favourites such as Nanci Griffith and Eilidh Patterson will be joined by more left-field names such as Iain Archer, Tobias Froberg and Kevin Gordon. I must declare an interest in that I'm chairing a Wednesday discussion panel about the value of song and then fronting the 'Nebraska Revisited' night. But hey, it's a sincere festival and Colin and Anne are doing a valuable job.

The playlist was my first chance to air the new REM single, and frankly I think it sounds too eager to rock and is slight on the kind of mystery that Michael Stipe used to employ so well. It would be cool to see them on the Oxygen stage this July but we remain uneasy about the new album. Still liking the Vampire Weekend record and smiling at the story of the elderly couple who bought tickets for Frank Black in Dublin, believing that it was the blessed Frances Black. Some difference.


PLAYLIST 15.02.08
STUART BAILIE
BBC Radio Ulster, 92-95 FM, 1341 MW
Online: www.bbc.co.uk/radioulster
Fridays, ten – midnight

tobias.jpgJosh Ritter – Kathleen (Setanta)
REM – Supernatural Superserious (Warner)
Tobias Froberg – When The Night Turns Cold (Fire Egg)
John Power – Ain’t No Woman (Taniki Taniji)
Vampire Weekend – Campus (XL)
The Coal Porters – Mr Guthrie
Woody Guthrie – Pretty Boy Floyd (Special Delivery)
Devotchka – Along The Way (Anti)
Sound Dimension – Rockfort Rock (Soul Jazz)
American Music Club – The Victory Choir (cv)
Nina Simone – He’s Got The Whole World (Charly)
Radiohead – Nude (XL)
John McGurgan – Jenny And Her Vega Machine (white)
LCD Soundsystem – Time To Get Away (EMI)

John Power – Ain’t No Woman (Taniki Taniji)
Matthew Sweet, Susanna Hoffs – And Your Bird Can Sing (Evangeline)
Alelia Diane – The Rifle (Rough Trade)
Aretha Franklin - a House Is Not a Home (Sony/BMG)
Vampire Weekend – Walcott (XL)
Kate Walsh – Please Please Let Me Get What I Want (Bluebury)
Morrissey – I Know It’s Gonna Happen Someday (EMI)
Nada Surf – See These Bones (City Slang)
Moldy Peaches – Anyone Else But You (XL)
David Johansen – James Alley Blues (Chesky)
Ben Glover – Things Haven’t Started Happening Yet (Mr Jones)
Tetine – I Go To The Doctor (Soul Jazz)
The Black Keys – Strange Times (V2)
The Pixies – Gigantic (4ad)


Stu Bailie presents The Late show on Radio Ulster, every Friday from 10pm until midnight. See his playlist here.

The Card Of The County

Stuart Bailie | 09:25 UK time, Thursday, 14 February 2008

Stuart Bailie.jpgI don’t have so many outstanding memories of Valentine’s Day. As a teenager, it was all peer pressure, disappointment and missives from the occasional stalker. That’s why I always shiver during the Janis Ian song, ‘At 17’. You know the lines: “To those of us who know the pain / of Valentines that never came”. On your side, Janis.

In my 20s, it was Chet Baker and ‘My Funny Valentine’. Some pleasure, intimacy and good times. In later years a Steve Earle song has hovered into the equation. 'Valentine's Day' is about the stresses of adult life and the struggle to sustain special moments in the face of compromise, commerce and self interest. Steve sounds magnificently bedraggled. He’s forgotten the card and the shops are sold out of roses. And so he moans:


If I could I would deliver to you
Diamonds and gold; it's the least I can do
So if you'll take my IOU
I could make it up to you
Until then I hope my heart will do
For Valentine's Day

heart410.jpg

This year I made the missus a card. Concept by myself and photo by my eldest girl. Ain’t it fancy?


Stu Bailie presents The Late show on Radio Ulster, every Friday from 10pm until midnight. See his playlist here.

For Whom The Toal Tells

Stuart Bailie | 10:16 UK time, Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Stuart Bailie.jpgThe Saturday Magazine show on Radio Ulster feels more like a social club than a piece of programming. The guests are swapping music, eating well, launching tall stories and meeting people with odd pastimes. And when it finishes at 11am, the team tends to hang around to continue the discussions and to partake of Paula McIntyre’s tremendous cuisine.

johntoal2.jpgThe mainstay of course is John Toal, a clever and affable gent who can converse with Newry lap dancers, children with wayward rabbits and psychotic Westlife fans. He knows his literature and his high art, but he snorts with childish pleasure at the contents of the Russell Ash book, Potty, Fartwell and Knob: From Luke Warm to Minty Badger - Extraordinary But True Names of British People. And why shouldn’t he?

The John and Paula rapport is also something to watch, as the business of cooking on radio is punctuated with Toal’s smacking lips and evident, epicurean joy. We finish with a record review that also aims to be entertaining. Whenever Katy Melua or Il Divo are mentioned, it’s also the chance to be terribly catty.

paula.jpgOutside broadcasts provide the opportunity to take this cavalcade to our listeners. Last Saturday, we hauled up at the King’s Hall in Belfast to visit the Glow event. It was billed as the Beauty And Vitality Show, therefore John was pampered, Paula had her face done and I was subjected to an oriental head massage. My stress was located and eased. The ear lobes were wrung out like minature dish cloths and I did indeed feel highly revitalised. Where else would you get it?

Stu Bailie presents The Late show on Radio Ulster, every Friday from 10pm until midnight. See his playlist here.

Playlist 08.02.08

Stuart Bailie | 11:08 UK time, Sunday, 10 February 2008

Stuart Bailie.jpgAnother sweet show on Friday night. I was joined for a couple of live tracks by Matt McGinn, who has a tune out at the moment called 'Double Bed' and who's finding his voice and his style with rewarding speed.

vampire.jpgThe Vampire Weekend album is a treasure of alternative fun with hints of world music, shown through a wonky prism. It was also great value to hear a Scottish act called The Galipaygos, who clearly admire Gram Parsons, the Band and Neil Young. That also applies to local artist Ben Glover, who releases his debut album in a weeks time, and you'll hear plenty of that next Friday.

PLAYLIST 08.02.08

STUART BAILIE
BBC Radio Ulster, 92-95 FM, 1341 MW
Online: www.bbc.co.uk/radioulster
Fridays, ten – midnight

Patti Smith – People Have The Power (Arista)
The Galipaygos – Happiness Starts Now (Unity)
Matt McGinn – Double Bed (live session)
Nick Lowe – I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass (Proper)
Matt McGinn – Lately (live session)
Vampire Weekend – M79(XL)
Rev Gary Davis – If I Had My Way (Smithsonian)
Guillemots – Get Over It (Polydor)
Jaymay – Ill Willed Person (Heavenly)
Marvin Gaye – I Met A Little Girl (Motown)
Adam Green – Morning After Midnight (Rough Trade)
The Stooges – No Fun (Elektra)

Morrissey – First Of The Gang To Die (Attack)
The Galipaygos – Pickin Fishes (Unity)
Devon Sproule – Let’s Go Out (Tin Angel)
Martin Simpson – Never any Good (Topic)
Ben Glover – Mercury Is Falling (Mr Jones)
Junior Brown – What’s Left Just Won’t Go Right (Demon)
Adam Green – Festival Song (Rough Trade)
Kd Lang - Jealous Dog (Nonesuch)
Rivers Cuomo – Buddy Holly (Geffen)
Vampire Weekend – Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa (XL)
The Teardrop Explodes – Reward (Mercury)
The Cave Singers – Dancing On Our Graves (Matador)
The Verve – A Northern Soul (Hut)
Feist – My Moon My Man (Polydor)

Stu Bailie presents The Late show on Radio Ulster, every Friday from 10pm until midnight. See his playlist here.

Don't Believe The Tripe

Stuart Bailie | 18:22 UK time, Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Stuart Bailie.jpgHere’s a picture of myself, Steve Lamacq and an unknown rude boy, up to no good in North London. I believe the venue was the Sir George Robey in Finsbury Park and the occasion was a Prince Buster gig, probably around 1990.

stuska2.jpgMyself and Lamacq had figured that another ska revival was on the cards, and so we went prowling around reggae shops in Berwick Street, mooching with Two Tone fans on the South Bank and searching for proper Jamaican legends on the Seven Sisters Road. God bless Prince Buster, who didn’t really know what we were talking about, but he humoured our daft questions and the story was duly filed.

Our NME editor was Alan Lewis, an avuncular fellow who had presided over Sounds during the previous ska revival of 1979. So he was ready for some sport, and the story was expanded to a rather embarrassing spread of pages.

The Ska Revival Revival threatened to materialize for a few agonising months, but finally petered out. We felt rather silly, and Melody Maker ribbed us endlessly in their funny pages. They said there was a commotion down at the local supermarket, as someone saw a poster from Prince Buster. But no, the sign actually said Price Busters. How we laughed…

Not long after, Melody Maker tried to sell us the tragic mod revival that was Menswear, followed by Romo, a kind of new-romantic-and-electro-combo. Then the blessed publication went bust.

Myself and Lamacq consoled ourselves over the fact that our journalistic talents had successfully presented the world with happening new genres such as raggle-taggle, Camden Lurch and fraggle rock. I hope you are all truly grateful.


Stu Bailie presents The Late show on Radio Ulster, every Friday from 10pm until midnight. See his playlist here.

Let's Get Lost (Slight Return)

Stuart Bailie | 09:48 UK time, Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Stuart Bailie.jpgThere’s was a kind of arrogance about the start of Lost, Series Four. It was assumed that you knew the characters, that you remembered the serpentine plot of 2007 and that you were still suspending your belief in this strained idea. They were asking a lot.

Meantime, there’s Hurley, gunning his vintage Camaro, chased by the cops and spooked by the ghost of his island buddy. He’s in some future time, back home and coming to terms with his celebrity status as a member of the Oceanic Six. Hey? Before we have time to analyse much, the storyline yanks like a bungee rope and we’re back on the beach, warring over the nature of the apparent rescuers, out there on the sea.

ben3.jpgLocke has gone royally mad, Jack is pulling that constipated look that passes for heroism and Ben is steadily mutating into Thom Yorke from Radiohead, scorned and tortured. How will they be reconciled, and why do the future survivors want to go back to the island?

Like many viewers, I’m no longer involved. The tension of those early episodes has given way to a resigned feeling that the Lost producers can be freely whimsical, indulgent and silly. Industrial action by the Writers Guild Of America has already curtailed the new series to eight episodes. Actually, it might do no harm to lose some of that excess.

Stu Bailie presents The Late show on Radio Ulster, every Friday from 10pm until midnight. See his playlist here.

Playlist 01.02.08

Stuart Bailie | 09:05 UK time, Monday, 4 February 2008

Stuart Bailie.jpgHere's the playlist from last Friday's show. I got excellent value from the Juno soundtrack and while my pal Joe Lindsay informs me that the movie isn't so great, the music is ideal. I could have chosen some Belle And Sebastian from the CD, but opted instead for a couple of Kimya Dawsons and a Mott The Hoople for old time's sake. I'm a dude, man.

Because of a technoligical mishap, I played the wrong REM track. Instead of 'Talk About The Passion', I got 'Gardening At Night', but since this followed on from 'Gardenia' by Stephen Malkmus, it seemed like a perfect connection. In this matter, I will defer to Brian Eno who tells us to honour mistakes as a secret intention.

I was slightly undewhelmed by the Hercules & Love Affair track. Media reports had suggesting something astounding from Antony Hegarty's vocal and a disco dimension. But to me, it was Bronski Beat, redux.

Playlist 01.02.08

juno2.JPGThe Ramones- Rock And Roll Radio (Sire)
Helen Love – Debbie Loves Joey (Elefant)
Sharon Jones And The Daptones – Something’s Changed (Daptone)
Stephen Malkmus – Gardenia (Domino)
REM – Gardening At Night (IRS)
Okkervil River - Unless It’s Kicks (Jagjaguar)
Linda Thompson – Do Your Best For Rock And Roll (Decca)
Maddox Brothers And Rose – Hangover Blues (Proper)
MGMT – Time To Pretend (Columbia)
Kimya Dawson – So Nice So Smart (Rhino)
Ernest Ranglin And Sound Dimension – Straight Flus (Soul Jazz)
Kate Rusby – The Village Green Preservation Society (Pure)
Elbow – Grounds For Divorce (Fiction)
Ben Glover – No Direction Home (Mr Jones)
Hercules – Blind (DFA)

Magnet – Lay Lady Lay (Ultimate Dilemma)
Glen Hansard, Marketa Irglova – You Ain’t Goin Nowhere (Columbia)
Rod Stewart – Mama You Been On My Mind (Mercury)
Kimya Dawson – Tire Swing (Rhino)
British Sea Power – No Lucifer (Rough Trade)
Pegi Young – When The Wild Life Betrays Me (Warner)
Editors – Push Your Head Towards The Air (Kitchenware)
Stina Nordenstam – Little Star (EastWest)
Cat Power – Breathless (Matador)
Jerry Lee Lewis – She Was My Baby He Was My Friend (Mercury)
Los Campesinos – Death To Los Campesinos (Wichita)
The Hold Steady – Chips Ahoy! (Vagrant)
Mott The Hoople – All The Young Dudes (Rhino)

Stu Bailie presents The Late show on Radio Ulster, every Friday from 10pm until midnight. See his playlist here.

Are You Gonna Go His Way?

Stuart Bailie | 15:54 UK time, Saturday, 2 February 2008

Stuart Bailie.jpgYou join us in 1989 as we barrel down the freeway from Los Angeles to Orange County in a shiny chrome bus. There’s myself, Lenny Kravitz and his wife Lisa Bonet. Baby Zoe is also on board, and she’s being tended to by Lisa’s mother Arlene. We’re on our way down to a Tom Petty concert, which Lenny will open, and the mood is upbeat.

lenny250.jpgIt’s not been long since Lenny released his first album, so he’s cool about the press and allows this writer several days of quality access. We’ve already worked on an NME photo shoot at the Griffith Observatory, where James Dean posed during Rebel Without A Cause. By the end of the week, we’ll have sat in during the video edit for ‘Mr Cab Driver’, a moment that is rudely upstaged by Slash from Guns N’ Roses. But that’s another story.

Back in Orange County and we’re having small talk with Lisa, who’s clearly not fazed by the media intrusion. She looks like any other considerate mother, although the tattoo on the back of her neck keeps making the connection back to ‘Angel Heart’. The baby girl will later inspire a song called ‘Little Girl's Eyes’, but for now, she’s a helpless bundle and the family bonds accordingly.

The concert is pretty good and I remember a rather fine version of the Hendrix tune, ‘If 6 Was 9’. Backstage, I have dinner with Roger McGuinn from The Byrds, without knowing it was he. Well, he doesn’t wear the hexagonal shades these days. And during the headline act, I’m so busy following Duff McKagan and Slash through the VIP area that I miss an onstage performance by Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. D’oh!

Zoekravitz.jpgI met Lenny again a couple of years later at a Danish festival and he had morphed into an egotistical loon, a Superfly caricature and a divorcee. I’d I’ve rarely thought of him since. But now it seems that Zoe Kravitz is being regarded as acting talent, with roles in the recent films The Brave One and No Reservations. Good luck to her, and may she avoid some of her father’s pitfalls.

Stu Bailie presents The Late show on Radio Ulster, every Friday from 10pm until midnight. See his playlist here.

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