Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, “Push the Sky Away” review

push the skySo… Nick Cave and his Devilishly Bad Seeds are, in under a week, to unleash their 15th studio LP “Push the Sky Away” on the unsuspecting public (available in a beautiful limited edition).  And man, are they in for a treat?!

The entire album is available NOW to stream via the Guardian website, and it has been on rotation at Gods HQ for a couple of days now, and we are enjoying it a great deal.  And it keeps getting better.

But this LP has me in a state of flux, and Nick Cave hasn’t done this to me in over 20 years, let me explain…

I vividly remember going into HMV in Gloucester in March 1990, on the day Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds released “the Ship Song” single in advance of their new LP -“the Good Son”.  It had been 18 months since the turbulent, and brilliant, “Tender Prey” – potentially the finest Bad Seeds LP, according to us! – and I was up for more of the same.  I wanted more “Mercy Seat” and  more “Slowly Goes the Night” and more “New Morning”.

And then Nick – my HMV buddy – played the “Ship Song” (with, I must say, a grin on his face, preempting my reaction), and my musical world changed.

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Killing Joke, new singles collection – what SHOULD the track listing be?!

kj singles deluxeSo, fellow Killing Joke fans, how do YOU feel about the new super-fandango, 34 CD, box set [versions and track listings] version of the recently announced singles collection?

Just to re-cap, Killing Joke are releasing a singles compilation spanning their entire 33 year career.  They have never released any kind of singles compilation LP so it’s a fairly big deal, and, for long-time KJ fans, a great opportunity for the band to show some real quality and real value.  And with the box set retailing at £216 (do NOT adjust your browser, that is £216), it has to a stunner, doesn’t it?

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GagReflex – “Nails E.P.” …as punk as fuck!

So, just what has Cheltenham actually produced in terms of musical talent?  Gustav Holst… Killing Joke (or, Jaz Coleman at least)… Worzel from Motorhead… Pigbag… err… (I can’t name any more and I live here!)

Well, hold on to your hats and lock up your daughters, here come Cheltenham’s newest export – GagReflex – “a two-headed punk rock machine – small enough to tour in a car; big enough to take your face clean off”.

Sounds like fun, and their debut 4 track E.P. – “Nails” – has just been released on Bandcamp (with no minimum payment amount – available for free).  So, is it really as punk as fuck?

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The Cure – “Early BBC Sessions 1979-1985″ LP review – Part One (by guest blogger Simon)

Back in April I posted this review of a Cure BBC sessions double bootleg, and I am pleased to say that here is our very first guest blogger on Gods & Alcoves, so please welcome Simon’s review of the very same Peel-fest – thanks Simon!

For some time now many Cure fans been wishing that the BBC would bring The Cure into line with so many other great bands of the post-punk era and release the unavailable archives of their BBC Radio session recordings. There have been online rumours that such a release was being curated – and with so much material on tape it would likely be something along the lines of the Banshees at the BBC which was very extensive and featured both Radio 1 sessions and concerts. The Banshees fans were also well served by the Nocturne DVD release, which include a fantastic pair of A Kiss in the Dreamhouse songs (Melt & Painted Bird) performed on the BBC’s Old Grey Whistle test in 1983. Ironically both of those featured Robert Smith on guitar. The Cure’s first Peel session was released on Strange Fruit way back in the day but there is so much more unique material gathering dust somewhere on a BBC shelf – here is an exhaustive list of everything recorded for the BBC (and elsewhere).

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Killing Joke, “the Hive”, unreleased track from 1982

Killing Joke toured a handful of dates in December 1982, when they were obviously previewing material for the following year’s Fire Dances LP.

The setlist below is from the legendary Klub Foot gig at the Clarendon Hotel on 14th December 1982, and four Fire Dances tracks make it in.

Nestled at track eight of the set is “the Hive”, a track which has never made it to an official release – it may never have been recorded – but it has surfaced in two separate live recordings from these dates, and it’s worth a listen.

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Gary Numan live, Tuesday 29th May 2012, Bristol O2 Academy

I haven’t really kept up with Gary Numan’s career.  I love Tubeway Army, especially the eponymous debut LP, when he was riding high on high energy, proto-punk rhythms and before his burgeoning PUNK! career was de-railed by his chance encounter with a synth in a studio (allegedly) …and thus was born epic-synth Numan.

I also love most of the early Gary Numan stuff, especially Pleasure Principle, Telekon, Dance and I, Assassin.  I like the way his music morphed from punk to dark/futuristic synth to almost pop/bass synth to light-industrial (!!!) and all between 1979 and 1983!  This was truly pioneering synth music – Numan has had a huge influence on so many aspects of music (performance, synth, stage/lighting, etc.) and it is really good to see him still going and still popular, and finally getting the respect he deserves from the industry.

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30 years ago, May 1982 – the Cure “Pornography” LP

How do you start describing an album which has been in your top three albums of all time pretty much ever since you first heard it, almost 30 years ago?  An album which, through a process of aural osmosis has penetrated your mind and inhabited every nook and cranny.  An album you know so well that, even if you haven’t listened to it for 12 months, as soon as you put it on every lyric and musical nuance is recalled instantly.

Pornography, by the Cure is that LP, it is a stunner, and it was released thirty years ago this month in May 1982.

Drop me on a desert island with this LP, First and Last and Always, Killing Joke’s debut, In the Flat Field and Henry’s Dream, and I could see out thirty more years.

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