Hullo. This weeks playlist comes to you on a Monday evening direct from the east coast main line as I make yet another chuffer journey to the national cesspit. I’m taking advantage of the train operators offer of free wi-fi and will attempt to compose the whole thing in two and a bit hours, so forgive me if it all seems a bit rushed. What do you mean it always seems rushed? Cheeky.
Paulo is joining me on the journey. Not physically of course, and presently he hasn’t submitted this weeks pick just yet. Let’s see if my very good friend, bandmate and runner-up in the 1979 West Yorkshire wheelbarrow of the year comes up with the goods before I pull into Kings Cross.
So, come on, let’s get to rammin’..
Track 1. Lucretia Mac Evil by Bruce Forsyth.
It was a great shame to learn of the great man’s passing last week, a mainstay of British television for over sixty years, he also had an immense pool of talent to call upon and was one of those very rare creatures, a true all round entertainer. Whilst his singing voice wasn’t the strongest, he still gave it his all and this eminently likeable cover of Blood, Sweat And Tears’ psych-funk cut Lucretia Mac Evil is bolstered by superb backing, not least the deft hammond provided by Don Hunt. Rest easy Brucie.
Track 2. Start Running by The Comet Is Coming.
Any band that consists of members named ‘King Shabaka’,’Danalogue the Conquerer’ and ‘Betamax Killer’ are alright in my book. This London trio formed just four years ago and have made big waves on the psych jazz scene. It’s inevitable that the great Sun Ra’s name looms large over their cosmic stylings, in fact they embrace the comparisons wholly and have no qualms whatsoever in acknowledging their debt to the erstwhile Herman Poole Blount. This track is the opener to their ‘Death to the Planet’ EP which was released on record store day earlier this year and is an interstellar journey. Join them on their trip because space IS the place.
Track 3. My People…Hold On by Eddie Kendricks.
The title track to the second solo LP from former Temptation Kendricks is quite close to the psych soul that his former bandmates were releasing at the time. I mention this fact as the new direction his group were taking was the reason Eddie took his falsetto and up and left The Temps. Bit strange, no? Either way, this is a hot, politically driven slow groove that went some way to solidify his success as a solo artist, faring better than his friend and fellow Temptations departee, David Ruffin.
Track 4. PYT by Easy Star All Stars.
****PAULO’S PICK OF THE WEEK****
He’s made it with half an hour to spare, gawd love him. This band are a go to in the wee small hours of the morning, their Radiohead and Pink Floyd cover albums have been a firm late night favourite of mine for some years now. Paul’s pick is a new one on me however, as their 2012 Jacko cover LP ‘Easy Star’s Thrillah’ had passed me by up until now. On the strength of this cut, featuring guest vocals from Kirsty Rock, it won’t be long until it’s accompanying a few early morning snifters.
Track 5. The Message by The Cornshed Sisters.
This weeks cover stars caught my ears on a six hour drive back from Gatwick a week or so back. There was something so familiar about the songs structure that I couldn’t quite put my finger on until I heard it for a second time and it clicked. Hailing from Sunderland, this four piece have close ties to Field Music. Peter Brewis is married to Jennie, one of the four fictional sisters that make up the group and his production hand is all over this slow burner. By the time you get to the two minute twenty second mark, it will become apparent that their fellow Mackems have exerted a massive influence on this track. Their second LP is due for release this November, I anticipate greatness.
Track 6. Pony by Annette Peacock.
Crikey, we’re at Grantham already, better get a wriggle on if I’m going to get this all wrapped up by the time we get to ‘ver smoke’. Here we have a truly special track that is made all the more remarkable by the fact that it was recorded live and in one take. Hailed as an innovator of avant garde Jazz and one of the progenitors of rap, Peacock’s songs have been covered by a diverse array of artists including David Bowie, Brian Eno, Mick Ronson, Al Kooper, Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius, Bill Frisell, Chris Spedding, Mary Halvorson, Nels Cline, RZA, Busta Rhymes, J-Live, Ghostface Killah, and Morcheeba.
Track 7. Heaven Is A Truck by Pavement.
We’re still in 2010 for this weeks Long Goodbye to Leeds feature. When Pavement announced they were to reform for their first gigs in ten years back in 2009, the initial shows they announced were three dates for the summer sound series in NYC ear-marked for September the following year. Having never travelled to the states, this was the perfect opportunity and excuse to plan a long overdue trip with the added bonus of catching a band I loved but never caught live first time around. Inevitably, more dates were announced leading up to these shows including a number of engagements in England. I couldn’t quite wait until the states trip and made the journey to Brixton to see them in the May of that year, but that open air show on a hot September night in central park will live longer in my memory. This track, from 1994’s ‘Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain’, featured in one of the two encores and was just another a highlight in a night brimming with highlights.
Track 8. This Is Your Night by The Flat Five.
With a fabtastic vintage style and sound, you’d be forgiven for mistaking this next track as a sixties studio session from a band in the mould of the fifth dimension. They are, in fact, a modern day five piece hailing from Chicago and released their debut LP just last year. Let these warm close harmonies wrap around you and send you off to another time, because this time is a bit horrible if we’re being honest…
Track 9. Equestrian by Omni.
…although it’s not all bad news, as we have bands like Atlanta’s Omni releasing superb records such as this lo-fi guitar driven track which dropped last month and is the first single from their second album titled Multi-task. Better get a move on, ten minutes until this engine arrives in Lahndahn town.
Track 10. No Faith, No Love by Mitty Collier.
This weeks soul slowie closer has been on the cards for some weeks now but has always been bumped back by other tracks. That’s not to say it’s inferior, no sir. Released on Chess in 1965, this single was a reworking of a James Cleveland song which only managed to scrape into the hot 100, peaking at #91. Have you seen the shite that tops the charts these days? I ask you..
Phew! Made it with seconds to spare. Now, on with the day job. Boo.
Be sure to join us next week when I’ll hopefully have more time to cobble this mess together. Rest assured, the music will, as always, still be of a supreme quality, even if the words that go with it remain close to mediocrity.
Until then, don’t make me over.