It Was a Kinky Xmas time!

It was December of 1984. The Kinks had just played a blazing XRT Show (the “State of Confusion” tour, if memory serves) and Tom Marker and I went backstage at the UIC Pavilion to enlist the voice of lead singer Ray Davies for our annual Christmas radio special. Our friend Hudson captured the encounter on his high quality portable reel-to-reel tape recorder (look it up) and it sounded like this:

Click on it

It was the Word of Mouth times, maybe not a masterpiece BUT a very special record to me, was 16 and it's been my first Kinks record... Because David Watts cover of course and I Loved Do it again


Neil Young turns 65: A great indepth 9 pages interview

Serious, intense, with hooded blue-gray eyes that always seem capable of pinning you to the wall, Neil Young looks like a man who has forged an uneasy peace with himself and the choices that he’s made. Gone is much of that early restlessness and ire; the kind of discontent that found him pitching televisions out of third story windows into southern California canyons, or scowling onstage amid a 15-minute version of “Down By The River,” without ever acknowledging his audience. Two months from his 65th birthday, there is an air of quiet acceptance about him as he sits with perfect posture in his smart white Panama hat, trimmed beard and green military jacket. His lived-in features – chiseled and defined – give him the air of an aging leading man, and as you take a step back and squint, he resembles no one so much as Gregory Peck, with the same mixture of obsession and righteousness.

Usually just as tough and stoic as the late actor, Young seems uncharacteristically forthcoming in this unassuming restaurant perched in a redwood grove on the side of a mountain near his rambling Broken Arrow Ranch, the 1,500 acre spread he purchased back in 1970 for the princely sum of $350,000, naming it after a Buffalo Springfield song. Perhaps the reason for the lightened mood has much to do with his new association with Daniel Lanois, who produced Young’s latest album Le Noise. What makes this new partnership propitious is that according to Young, Lanois is the first person who has told him the truth about his music, since the death of his former producer David Briggs in 1995. But not only that, Lanois was able to coax a whole new panorama of sounds out of the august artist, creating a work that pays homage to Young’s storied past, but also looks to the future by using an entirely new sonic palette and hallucinatory echoes without sacrificing his rough edges. If the truth be told, Le Noise is like a Crazy Horse record without Crazy Horse. And just as revelatory. Not only does Young divulge his creative process on the song “Love and War,” but he has allowed himself to mourn lost friends – specifically, L.A. Johnson and Ben Keith – in the simple eloquence of “I lost some people I was traveling with,” on “Walk With Me” – in a way that he hasn’t since the Ditch Trilogy and 1994’s Sleeps With Angels. Young talks to American Songwriter about what keeps him up at night, how he knows when it’s time to write, the spectral power of the moon and whether there is another ride for Crazy Horse.

Interview is here

Mike Leigh's Another Year UK Trailer...

Brilliant Movie... We all have a "Mary"...


Zig Zag, 1984, John Wilde speaks with Paul Weller, the man who can do no wrong (Huge thanx to the gifted and talented Lizzy)

By the way, my friend JC is eagerly looking for that Raleigh bicycle shirts Circa 1984, write me if you can make an offer! ;););)

Liam Gallagher is expecting his new band Beady Eye to be ''massive'' in 2011.

Liam Gallagher is expecting his new band Beady Eye to be ''massive'' in 2011.

Beady Eye are looking forward to being "massive" in 2011.

The group - consisting of the former members of Oasis, Liam Gallagher, Gem Archer, Andy Bell and Chris Sharrock - will release their new album, 'Different Gear, Still Speeding' in February and are expecting instant chart success.

Liam said: "I think we're going to be f***ing big, man. There's no point saying, 'Oh we might be kind of big,' otherwise what's the point? Because I know how good we are and I know how good we're gonna be.

"We're gonna be f***ing massive. Come back to us in a couple of years if I'm wrong and then fair play to you but."

The outspoken rocker - who formed the group after his brother Noel Gallagher quit Oasis in August 2009 - believes the world is desperate for a group like Beady Eye because there have been so many uninspiring new rock bands in the last decade.

He added: "The world is crying out for a great rock 'n' roll band. It's been ages. That's why the time is right for Beady Eye.

"Even in the last 10 years there's been nothing. And it's not just that there hasn't been one f***ing good band. I'm sick of that attitude.

"There should be loads of f***ing good bands out there, looking smart, making great music, f***ing doing it. It's not about one band, there should be a load of them, but where are they?"

(Cow) Maxine Cook's hand painting and virtual Gallery online.


Weller at XFM

XFM’s Christmas with Paul Weller program that was broadcast yesterday is available for on-demand listening via XFM’s Listen Again option. To listen to the program, go to the XFM Web site and click the “listen again” audio link near the top of the page.

When the XFM Web Player opens, go into the “Recommended” section and choose “Last 7 Days—Christmas With…Paul Weller.”

The show is about 60 minutes in length and features an interview with Weller and music, not all of which are Weller songs. There are six days left to listen from today (Sunday, December 26th).

Mike Cobley

Beady Eye - Four Letter Word (Boxing day edition)

Released to celebrate the boxing day, new Beady Eye Video with Jeff Wootton on Bass. Dedicated to Miss Vanoo. ;)

Plan B - Prayin' / To Wish Jean-Christophe a good week and to cheer him up!


Q Magazine, Top 50 for 2010. 9) WUTN

Paul Weller
Label: Island
Key track: Wake Up The Nation

So this is the modern world. Weller's 10th solo album was his angriest sounding record in years, directing its fury at everything from social networking sites to the "death of the postbox". Add Walker Brothers-esque balladry (No Tears To Cry), experimental song suites (Trees) and off-piste collaborators (including MBV's Kevin Shields on 7&3 Is The Strikers Name), and here was proof that, at 52, his mid-life musical renaissance shows no sign of abating.

Paul Weller & Steve White - The Cost Of Loving (Japan 1992) Nicked from the Cap. ;)

Yello Club Tokyo, 2nd March 1992, Taken from an exclusive gig, performed by only Paul and Whitey before an audience of competition winners from the Japanese music magazine Takarajima***. Video: from the Japanese Pony Canyon Laserdisc of "Highlights & Hang ups" .




My favourite record all year was Erland & The Carnival. I love it because you can't pin it down. It's got folk, electronica, psych and great dark tunes. We had the pleasure of sharing the stage with them in London and New York and they were great. Erland's a great singer and frontman too. They've got a new album out in 2011 which is gonna be great.

I also loved the Tame Impala album Inner Speaker. They're a young Aussie band. I suppose you'd call it guitar rock music, but it has a nice psychedelic sound to it too. I like Devlin's album - very clever lyrics. He played with us recently at Wembley and was great.

Bowie's Station To Station re-issue was good, but I wish they had put Tony Visconti's original tracks and mixes on the bonus disc. I would have loved to have heard that stuff. As for films, Four Lions by Chris Morris was genius, as always from him. Funny and sad, like all great comedy.

Mirror favourites...


Wake Up The Nation The Jam legend's astonishing middle-age resurgence continued with an album as timely and relevant as any in Weller's 36-year career. Wired and angry, jagged, contagious and totally inspiring. Trees, the album's sad but defiant mini popopera, is one of the most brilliant songs in an already mighty canon. Rise and shine.

When the Jam were cover boys (almost) in French Magazines... Complete scan AND translation of the article soon...

The Mods, French Broadcast 1965. 32 minutes.

To discover the new English youth in Hammersmith, London suburb and the Mod or Modern Movement. Mods are new dandys and they come from the working class. Young people interview about drug, neighbourhood police, politic, racism, society. They go to the Who gigs on a little stage in London. Interview with Kit Lambert, Who's Manager, about Teddy boys, rockers and mods.

A la découverte de la nouvelle jeunesse anglaise, dans le quartier de Hammersmith, banlieue de Londres et plus particulièrement du mouvement "Mods" ou "Modern", nouveaux dandys, anticonformistes issus du milieu ouvrier.Les interviews de jeunes à propos de la drogue, de la police de quartier, de la politique, du racisme, de la société en général, alternent avec des séquences de concert des WHO sur une petite scène à Londres. Interview en français de Kit LAMBERT, manager des WHO, à propos des mouvements Teddy Boys, rockers, des mods.


The delightful Nick Ward's LP, Pink Bay.

Should really have a look at Nick's music... ;) Very versatile, running in the Costello/Davies Lane...

Paul Weller Leafy Mysteries Conan O'Brien

Steve Cradock's new single.

Ocean Colour Scene guitarist Steve Cradock is to issue a brand new single next February and has also released details of a UK tour to commence in April.

Entitled ‘Last Days Of The Old World‘, the track will be available from February 14th on Cradock’s own Kundalini record label. Featuring the talents of Paul Weller on backing vocals, who’s band Cradock has been a member of for several years, ‘Last Days Of The Old World‘ will also be up for grabs as a free download for a short time at stevecradock.com.

The single is the first taster from Cradock’s new solo album which is due in April, when he will embark on a UK tour to begin in Glasgow on the 16th. Cradock then visits York, Manchester, Birmingham and Cardiff before wrapping the tour up in London on the 22nd...

John Grant, A miracle in 2010.

John Grant - Chicken Bones from Bella Union on Vimeo.

John Grant Music

John Grant was deep down depressed after his former band The Czars unsucces... The Midlake guys took him back to the studio and he recorded that absolutely great LP. We (Mike and Yann, co-bloggers now!) recommend you to have a listen...It definitely worth it.


Web site

A french review

Velocities music, Episode 223, Paul Weller- Wake Up The Nation



Brighton magazine's choice for 2010.

Colin Meloy and Decemberists new lp "The king is dead"

Great artists never do the same thing twice, and The Decemberists' members — led by singer-songwriter Colin Meloy — have built their career on that.

In a recent stop at WFUV's Studio A to play songs from The Decemberists' upcoming album The King Is Dead, Meloy jokes that the band had reached the "zenith of excess" on 2009's The Hazards of Love, so a more stripped-down approach marked a deliberate change of direction.

Yet Meloy tells me he found the process of recording a simpler album far more complex than expected: "I thought [recording] would be a lot shorter," he says. "This was simple. Hazards was very cerebral... academic. That felt very time-consuming, and this one was just as hard. It just goes to show you that no music is easy."

Meloy didn't choose an easy recording space for The King Is Dead, either, opting for a barn in Portland, Ore. The farm's owners are great supporters of the arts, having held a community folk festival there, but Meloy says the barn wasn't an easy place to work: "It rained on us a lot. It was a very rainy May, with no heat or indoor plumbing. It wasn't luxurious in any sense."

Link and full session here


Beady Eye's video premiere.

Beady Eye are set to premiere the video for new song 'Four Letter Word' exclusively on NME.COM on Boxing Day (December 26).

Watch the video on the right for a preview clip of the song, which is taken from Liam Gallagher and co's forthcoming album 'Different Gear, Still Speeding'.

The full video will go online on NME.COM at 10am (GMT) on Boxing Day.

Speaking in the Christmas issue of NME, which is on sale across the UK and available to order online now, Gallagher said he believes 'Different Gear, Still Speeding' is as good as Oasis' debut album 'Definitely Maybe'.

The album is out on February 28 next year.

Black Keys Live, KCRW Session.


Sound Affects reissue, French review (N. Ungemuth) Click on it to enlarge or read it in English.

In 1980, Weller got the jackpot: Going Underground is n°1 in England and Eton Rifles, When you're young, Strange town were also big hits. The Jam are the biggest and most important band of UK. But, as anyone knows, Weller is not exactly the kind of man to sleep on his laurels, and he wanted to find a new direction. Sound affects is his dark thoughts obsessive ruminations' result and it's his favourite one. Fans would really often prefer Setting sons, the one before. The sound is different, more melodic, more "round" when Sound affects is more angular and abrasive. The reason is very simple: Weller wanted to leave his past influences. No more Who influence and no more soul covers (In the midnight hour, Heatwave...). He admits now than at the time he listened and appreciated Wire, Gang of four, Joy Division. But Weller can't really get out of his so obsessive teenager sixties influences et he was listening Beatles Revolver in a never ending loop, the absolute Beatles masterpiece. So the result will be the sum of influences and won't sound like Beatles or Who or Kinks, It's digested. Of course, he nicked the Taxman bass riff for Start and Scrape away has been influenced by the post punk era but for all the record, it's brand new Jam with this lp completely free of black music influences and Tonwshendlike manners. Even if the Jam has never been very pastoral, Sound Affects is a urban manifesto and except two cheerful titles (Boy about town, I'm different now) it's more a melancholic lp.

At the time, as everyone knows, Weller was not exactly the funniest fellow in town et it's the anger, bitterness and cynicism of the lyrics which has been the reason why a entire generation has been so loyal to him. These bitter and numinous songs are Monday, That's entertainment, Man in the Cornershop (of the man ;), Pretty Green, Set the house ablaze and Dreamtime. A fabulous torrent of sublime melodies and perfect guitars. For the 25 th birthday, Polydor added a second cd. Most of the bonus (Demo, alternate takes, Kinks and Beatles covers) was available yet on Extras and Direction, Reaction, Creation. If you're a completist and only look for absolutely unreleased, you'll only find a funny cover of Waterloo Sunset (The original chords pattern has not been followed step by step or not understood!), a different take for Monday, Pretty Green demo and a pretty poor instrumental.

Splendid reissue.


Weller Sartorial's adventures: a new chapter?

Paul Weller has revealed to 6 Music his in talks with Liam Gallagher about designing clothes for the former Oasis singer's fashion label Pretty Green

"It's still early days really, trying to do a tie up with Pretty Green, hopefully it's going to come off, I can't say for definite yet."

He is also thinking of starting up his own clothing range in the New Year.

"It's just what I like and what I would like to have in my wardrobe really, it's purely selfish."

6 Music's Jo Youle caught up with Mr Weller to ask him what he has in mind for the project and try to find out where his obsession with fashion comes from:


Cow! Hard copies available

Cow - Album

A collection of 12 self penned songs written about love, life and hope, acoustic soulfull pop if you need a tag! Contains the soon to be single ‘sunrise’ which is getting national radio play.

Get To Love You
New Day
And Meanwhile
It's You
Tables and Chairs
Where it Needs To Be

Fragile Foundations
Keep It Dark
Look Around



The Music Fix Review.


Xmas Ultimate Mod Party: Join us!

When English pop talks about politic. (From Slate.fr)

Students will pay 9000 £ a year!

80 % less for school...

Read Brighton Magazine about it

«David Cameron, arrête de dire que tu aimes les Smiths, ce n’est pas le cas. Je t’interdis de les aimer». Le 2 décembre, l’ancien guitariste des Smiths, Johnny Marr, attaquait violemment sur son compte Twitter le Premier ministre britannique, qui a régulièrement affirmé ces dernières années son attachement au groupe de Manchester. Avant d’être suivi, quelques jours plus tard, par le chanteur du groupe, Morrissey, qui lui a apporté son soutien en reprochant notamment à Cameron, vingt-cinq ans après son album Meat is Murder («la viande, c’est un meurtre»), de pratiquer la chasse à courre.

Le 8 décembre, une députée travailliste, Kerry McCarthy, a profité des questions au gouvernement, juste avant un débat tendu sur l’augmentation des frais universitaires, pour interroger Cameron sur le sujet:

«Les Smiths sont le groupe étudiant par excellence. Si le Premier ministre l’emporte lors du vote de ce soir, quelle chanson pense-t-il que les étudiants écouteront: Miserable Lie ["mensonge lamentable"], I Don't Owe You Anything ["je ne vous dois rien"] ou Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now ["Dieu sait à quel point je suis malheureux actuellement"]?

Réponse de Cameron

—Si je venais les voir, je n’aurais probablement pas droit à This Charming Man ["cet homme charmant"]. Si je venais avec le ministre des Affaires étrangères [William Hague, ndle], cela serait probablement William, It Was Really Nothing ["William, ce n’était rien, finalement"]»

Cette passe d’armes entre un Premier ministre et un groupe pop est loin d'être une première: entre fascination (généralement très brève), répulsion et récupération, le rock britannique et les occupants de Downing Street ont toujours entretenu des relations compliquées depuis les années soixante.

Petit florilège en vidéo.

Wilson (1964-1970, 1974-1976) et Heath (1970-1974)

Furieux du taux d’imposition de leurs royalties, les Beatles ne voulaient pas faire de jaloux: en 1966, sur Taxman, ouverture de l’album Revolver, les Fab Four flinguent équitablement les travaillistes et les conservateurs, le Premier ministre de l’époque («Ha-ha Mr. Wilson»), qui avait pourtant dragué l’électorat jeune en les décorant un an plus tôt de l’ordre de l’Empire britannique, et son futur successeur («Ha-ha Mr. Heath»). La chanson fera partie de celles adaptées en dessin animé par la télévision américaine.



Quatorze ans plus tard, Wilson et Heath figureront également en «bonne» place au sein d’une galerie de Premiers ministres dans le clip du single Going Underground des Jam, qui démolit toute la classe politique britannique:



«You choose your leaders and place your trust
As their lies put you down and their promises bust
You'll see kidney machines replaced by rockets and guns»

(«Vous choisissez les dirigeants où placer votre confiance/Et à mesure que leurs mensonges vous rabaissent et que leurs promesses se dégonflent/Vous voyez les appareils à dialyse remplacés par des fusées et des flingues»)

James Callaghan (1976-1979)

Trois ans plus tôt, les même Jam réservaient un traitement de défaveur au Premier ministre travailliste James Callaghan, confronté à une situation économique dramatique: «I think it’s time for truth, and the truth is that you lost, Uncle Jimmy» («Je crois qu’il est temps de dire la vérité, et la vérité c’est que tu as perdu, Oncle Jimmy»). C’est l’époque où le groupe déclare par provocation en interview être prêt à voter conservateur, une position qu’il fera plus que nuancer par la suite.

Margaret Thatcher (1979-1990)

La «Dame de fer» a été la reine incontestée du pamphlet pop, au point qu’on pourrait sans difficulté composer une compilation qui lui serait entièrement consacrée. Avec son versant guerre des Malouines: Shipbuilding de Robert Wyatt ou How Does it Feel to be the Mother of a Thousand Dead de Crass. La moquerie sur sa phrase-culte selon laquelle «toute personne prenant les transports publics après 30 ans devrait se considérer comme un raté»: Only Losers Take The Bus des Fatima Mansions. Les attaques personnelles: She Was Only A Grocer’s Daughter («Elle n’était qu’une fille d’épicier») des Blow Monkeys ou Tramp The Dirt Down d’Elvis Costello («Quand l’Angleterre était la putain du monde, Margaret était sa maquerelle»). Les espoirs placés dans sa démission: Stand Down Margaret de The Beat, Celebrate (The Day After You) des Blow Monkeys, She’ll Have To Go de Simply Red. Voire plus: The Day That Thatcher Dies de Hefner ou Margaret on the Guillotine de Morrissey («Les gens bien font un rêve merveilleux/Margaret sur la guillotine»), qui vaudra au chanteur une enquête de la police britannique.



Mais s’il ne fallait garder qu’un morceau, à la fois pour sa qualité musicale, celle de ses paroles et sa valeur de symbole, cela serait sans doute Walls Come Tumbling Down du Style Council, groupe formé par Paul Weller après la séparation des Jam. En 1985, quand il publie ce single mobilisateur influencé par la soul Tamla-Motown, le chanteur est en train de créer avec d’autres protest singers (Billy Bragg ou le chanteur des Communards Jimmy Sommerville) le «Red Wedge», un mouvement visant —en vain– à convaincre les jeunes de ramener le Labour au pouvoir en 1987:

«Are you gonna realize the class war’s real and not mythologized
And like Jericho you see walls can come tumbling down!
Are you gonna be threatened by the public enemies no. 10
Those who play the power game
They take the profits —you take the blame
When they tell you there’s no rise in pay»

(«Quand allez vous réaliser que la guerre des classes n’est pas un mythe mais une réalité/Et que comme à Jericho vous pouvez voir des murs s’effondrer/Vous laisser menacer par les ennemis publics du numéro 10/Ceux qui participent aux jeux de pouvoir/Ils prennent les profits, vous laissent les reproches/Et vous disent qu’il n’y aura pas de hausses de salaires»)


John Major (1992-1997)

Comparé à sa devancière, le dernier Premier ministre conservateur avant Cameron a peu intéressé les songwriters. Sous son mandat, on parla moins d’inspiration que de récupération, celle du concept de «Cool Britannia», la nouvelle vague de créateurs britanniques en musique (Blur, Oasis, Pulp, Supergrass...) ou dans d’autres arts (le cinéaste Danny Boyle, le styliste Ozwald Boateng, le plasticien Damian Hirst...). En 1996, Major lance ainsi: «Nos théâtres ouvrent la voie à Broadway, notre pop domine les ondes, nos défilés de mode dominent ceux de Paris».

La même année, son ancien ministre John Redwood publie dans le Guardian une tribune intitulée «Pourquoi j’aime la britpop», où il oppose la pop britannique aux Etats-Unis et «au vandalisme politique qui démolirait la Constitution et donnerait le pouvoir à Francfort ou Bruxelles». Et tente au passage de récupérer pour son parti les paroles du single Lucky You des Lightning Seeds («Everything’s blue now/How lucky you»), le bleu étant la couleur des conservateurs. Il s’attirera une réplique aigre du chanteur du groupe, Ian Broudie: «Je penche à gauche, mais que je pense que tous les politiques sont horribles, qu'ils s'appellent Tony Blair, John Major ou John Redwood. Je ne voudrais être enfermé dans une pièce avec aucun d'entre eux».



Tony Blair (1997-2007) et Gordon Brown (2007-2010)

En 1996, Blair tente la même manoeuvre que les conservateurs vis-à-vis des Lightning Seeds avec Three Lions, un hymne composé pour l’Euro de football, en en modifiant le refrain original («Football’s coming home/Thirty years of hurt never keep us dreaming») pour un congrès de son parti: «Labour’s coming home. Seventeen years of hurt never keep us dreaming» («Le Labour est de retour. Dix-sept ans de douleur ne nous ont jamais empêché de rêver»). Un symbole de ses tentatives pour annexer la pop britannique pendant sa campagne électorale: il reçoit Damon Albarn de Blur à Westminster, fréquente les Brit Awards, écoute Oasis dans sa voiture de fonction, rappelle son passé de guitariste dans un groupe étudiant... Le retour de bâton viendra dès 1998 sous la forme d’une Une vengeresse du New Musical Express («Jamais eu l’impression de vous faire avoir?») et d’une série de chansons contre le New Labour, comme Cocaine Socialism de Pulp:



«Well you sing about common people
And the mis-shapes and the misfits
So can you bring them to my party
And get them all to sniff this?
And all I'm really saying
Is come on and rock the vote for me»

(«Vous chantez sur les gens ordinaires/Les inadaptés et des exclus/Pourriez-vous les faire venir à mon rassemblement/Et leur faire sniffer ceci?/Tout ce que je vous demande est de venir et d'appeler à voter pour moi»)

En revanche, comme John Major, Gordon Brown inspirera moins les musiciens que le précédent locataire du 10, Downing Street, au point que le fait musical le plus marquant le concernant est sans doute Gordon Brown, une parodie du Golden Brown des Stranglers.

David Cameron (2010-...)

Si, à notre connaissance, l’actuel Premier ministre n’a pas eu droit à un pamphlet pop, il s’est vu consacrer une parodie d’un tube populaire avant même son arrivée à Downing Street.

(«Vous chantez sur les gens ordinaires/Les inadaptés et des exclus/Pourriez-vous les faire venir à mon rassemblement/Et leur faire sniffer ceci?/Tout ce que je vous demande est de venir et d'appeler à voter pour moi»)

En revanche, comme John Major, Gordon Brown inspirera moins les musiciens que le précédent locataire du 10, Downing Street, au point que le fait musical le plus marquant le concernant est sans doute Gordon Brown, une parodie du Golden Brown des Stranglers.

David Cameron (2010-...)

Si, à notre connaissance, l’actuel Premier ministre n’a pas eu droit à un pamphlet pop, il s’est vu consacrer une parodie d’un tube populaire avant même son arrivée à Downing Street.

En 2007, dans une émission satirique de Channel Four, l’humoriste David Bremner l’avait caricaturé en majordome chantant Common People de Pulp, évoquant au fil des couplets sa consommation de haschich à la fac ou la richesse parentale. Le refrain original —«I want to live like common people, I want to do whatever common people do»— était remplacé par «I've never lived like common people/I wouldn't what common people are»: «Je n'ai jamais vécu comme les gens du peuple/Je ne saurais même pas à quoi ils ressemblent».



Jean-Marie Pottier