As with David J so with Daniel Ash, by which I mean…confusion. Moke and smirrors. Angles of deception. That kind of thing.
Easily one of the greatest guitarists we ever have had come out of Britain what sort of artist does that make him when out on his own?
This compilation brings us the albums “Coming Down” (1991) and “Foolish Thing Desire” (1992) with a third side selected by the man himself of more recent work, and entitled “Bits ‘N’ Bobs.” The wide-ranging nature of styles and covers ensures you don’t get close to an idea of him as an artist at all, of the man, but you get to check out his approach, his artful dodging. It comes in a nicely designed triptych format sleeve, with another excellent Andrew J. Brooksbank set of sleevenotes. I also love the photo of the suited, mohicaned Ash leaning forward, as it looks like his head’s vanished! (Check the profile pic on his FB page.)
When David J released this initially not much was expected of him. Not in terms of quality, as we knew it would be good, but in terms of style. What exactly was he going to be doing? Always something of an enigmatic figure onstage was he going to veer abruptly away from anything remotely Bauhausian, or would he plough a darker, perkier furrow? Of course the answer was a little bit of both. Musically engaging, lyrically bitter as much as it is wry, setting the course for many similarly enthralling efforts. I confess I lost track of his later (i.e. more recent) work but I put that down to never really getting Love & Rockets and thereby losing track of what the chaps were doing. My loss, I am sure. Visit his website and hear his exquisite interpretation (with Jill Tracy) of ‘Bela.’
Synth horns! Cymbal crashes! A quivering British accent! Night Riots’ “Halloween” scares us, if only because it’s so good. While Siouxsie and the Banshees’ frantic original was driven by gritty guitars, Night Riots’ cover reimagines the song with still-spooky New Wave vibes.
Live From KCRW was recorded last April during the week separating the Bad Seeds’ two appearances at Coachella (where Cave, Warren Ellis, Martyn Casey, and Jim Sclavunos also pulled double duty with the their bastard-son band Grinderman), before a small studio audience at the station’s famed Santa Monica studios.
Peter Hook & the Light live review from the recent Gig at Leeds’ Cockpit.
Runner-up in the grumpiest man in Manchester stakes, Peter Hook still had music fans grinning from ear to ear when he crossed the Pennines to play the Cockpit in Leeds for a sweat-soaked bass-heavy romp through the first part of his considerable career.
“Hooky” was his own support act, running through a selection of Joy Division songs with his band the Light, and catching out anyone who didn’t arrive at 7.30pm prompt, before returning after a short break to play New Order’s first two albums Movement and Power, Corruption & Lies in their entirety. Movement, recorded just after the death of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis, is darker in tone and the new band formed from the remains of the old still had to refine the mix of electronics and post-punk rock that made them famous.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have always been at their very best live. Cave is a showman, and gives the distinct impression that he writes to perform. Without the stage it is doubtful that he would have attempted or pulled off so many apparently effortless musical transformations. His most recent album, Push the Sky Away, brought him back together with the Bad Seeds after lengthy dalliance with Grinderman. There are always plenty of talented people around Cave, but the Bad Seeds are essential to his best work – like Neil Young’s Crazy Horse, but with much-enhanced musical skills and a healthier power relationship with the boss.
Jaz Coleman: Letters from Cythera/The Island symphony – New book & CD mock up!