Tag Archives: Eighties

Upcoming Gigs – Loose Lips – 4 May 2013

Loose Lips

If you were in  London between 1987-1991 , you may remember a popular  club night called Loose Lips which was started by Sue and Fiona in 1987  on Wardour Street. Later on, the night relocated to various venues around Soho.

Loose Lips became known for pioneering new music coming out of the thriving underground scene, and was also a popular hang out for well-known musicians, such as Lemmy, Nasty Suicide, The Black Crowes and Izzy Stradlin amongst many others.

During its four to five years of existence, it also showcased many up and coming bands, such as Gunfire Dance , Kill City Dragons  and The Stuntcocks,  which featured  Les Riggs and Timo Kaltio (Cheap and Nasty), Rene Berg, Danny Garcia (The Rise and Fall of The Clash), Jim Bishop as well as  Dave Tregunna (Sham 69, Lords of the New Church, Tango Pirates) Ronnie Rocka and Darrel Bath, to name but a few of the many musicians who took part in these great unrehearsed jam sessions in the true spirit of rock’n’roll.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, the reason for this post, isn’t to reminisce about the good old times, but to let you all know Loose Lips is back again, for one night on Saturday 4 May at the Archangel in Kensington, London.

Two great musical acts are playing:

Tango Pirates who I have written about on this blog twice.  The band features former Lords of the New Church and Kill City Dragons members Danny Fury and Dave Tregunna, as well as lead guitarist Timo Kaltio (Cheap and Nasty).

Next on the bill  will be  Nick Marsh  (Flesh for Lulu) who also plays lead guitar with the Urban Voodoo Machine and has recently released a solo album (A Universe Between Us)

The fun starts at 8PM and goes on until 3AM so be sure to attend! Entry is only £4 which is a fantastic deal for a great night out in London.

To keep up to date with any upcoming news, and to share your own memories of Loose Lips (and photos if you have any) please go like their Facebook page here.

To give you a teaser of what you can look forward to on the night:

A live video from Tango Pirates performing their song Dark Star (about the legendary  Stiv Bators)

Title track from Nick Marsh’s solo album A Universe Between Us.

EP Review – Prostitute’s Handbag – Tingle in the Netherlands

Like Monty Python used to say, and now for something completely different

My first ever EP review…

I’ve chosen  an unexpected genre:  Electronica/Synth pop. Because back in the day, I was the proud owner of a Korg DW8000 which I learnt to programme. However, the main reason I’ve chosen to write this post is because I liked what I heard and thought others would too.

A little bit about the band first. The cleverly named Tingle in the Netherlands are a Manchester duo, composed of poet Helên T and electronic musician Owen J.  In their Facebook page, they describe their genre as electronica/wonky synth pop.  There’s nothing wonky about their music though.

The EP gets to a great start with the title track, Prostitute’s Handbag, with its clever minimalistic lyrics and cool beat.  You must pay attention to the lyrics, for they are part of the song’s quirky charm. Its chorus, will get stuck in your head like a broken record. Not a bad thing, and if the lyrics make you smile whilst you sing along, then even better.

Next is I Lost my Heart to a Starship Cleaner, which made me think of Erasure,  Kraftwerk and the Pet Shop Boys all rolled into one, but with a female singer. Again, the lyrics are mad genius.

A Forest of Cocks,  with its 80′s inspired intro, has a fantastic  narrative that is pure surreal poetry. This, along with the last song, Mammals, are probably my favourites, though I like them all. Mammals is another great mix of atmospheric synths , effects and surreal facts.

Cool, atmospheric, witty, clever, poetic, funny and demented. This is definitely an EP you ought to check out if you like Erasure, Kraftwerk, New Order, Yazoo and others.  It’s tons of fun with no doom and gloom or heavy preachy lyrics.

Here’s a taster video…

If you like what you heard, you’ll be happy to know the band’s  first full length album is scheduled for release in 2012 with record label www.nervecho.com which is  also where you can purchase this EP and the brilliantly witty single The Housewife’s Lament which takes a well-known cliché and gives it a whole new feel that will make you smile. I meant to also say the Atomizer remix of Prostitute’s Handbag is also awesome and worth checking out as well.

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Coming up later this week will be another EP review as well as the usual posts with upcoming gigs, and a few reviews I’ve been meaning to post but have been unable to due to a combination of computer problems and time constraints.

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Thanks!

A Musical Journey – 1989

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of my musical journey posts. The last one was about 1988 so it’s only logical that we move to the last year of the eighties…

1989

Higher Ground, from the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s fourth album Mother’s Milk, featured a new band line up, including guitarist John Frusciante and drummer Chad Smith and was the first thing I ever heard from the band.  It was of course, a cover of Stevie Wonder’s 1973 track, but the band’s uniqueness and talent shines through, as well as their ability to make the song their own.

When reading Anthony Kiedis’ biography a while back, I recall him speaking of how the band were rebelling against the aloof synthesiser sound that was so popular in the early 80′s.  As they saying goes, ‘Every dog has its day’ and 1989 was the year where they finally began to get noticed and rightly so.

1989 marked the end of a great decade in music, but also a change in the musical direction of what mainstream radio was playing.  The New Romantics were no more and the synthesiser bands that had once been so popular in the early 80′s were going through their own evolution, which would eventually lead to a great new genre that would be known as Electronica.

I’m sure most of you will be familiar with this cover, if not, enjoy hearing it for the first time. Flea is a great bass player. Not too many can play that funky slap bass well, I never could myself, so I greatly respect his skills.

A Musical Journey – 1988

There’s only one song that represents 1988 for me, but first, a bit of rock music history to set the scene…

After Bauhaus broke up, everyone wondered what Peter Murphy would do next.  After a bit of experimentation in Dali’s Car with the late Mick Karn, he did what he should have done to begin with and went solo.  Meanwhile, the other three Bauhaus blokes formed Love and Rockets, a band I must admit to have always disliked.

Peter’s first solo album, Should the World Fail to Fall Apart  contains a track that inspired the band name for my boy’s rock band. It also has a great cover of Pere Ubu’s Final Solution. Indirectly, there’s a line in that song that’s meaningful in relation to the origins of my boy, who is not a supernatural creature but human. (I suspect maybe one or two of my friends will get this cryptic clue…)

For my chosen track, we have to move to Peter’s second album, Love Hysteria,  my favourite of his.  All Night Long has always spoken of hope to me. It is the ONE song I listen to when I am down and/or struggling. It also reminds me of the journey I’ve been on, ever since a lost boy called Julian came to me wanting to tell me his story three years ago. He is the one constant in my life, and it’s him, as well as Peter’s music as inspiration that’s kept me going all this time.

I cannot think of a better post to start this new year…

Peter Murphy – All Night Long

A Musical Journey – 1987

Image by Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1987 – Still in Hollywood – Concrete Blonde

Back in 1987, I wasn’t too keen on what the top 40 was giving us, hideous records like Rick Astley’s Never Going to Give You Up is  an example, so, I’m choosing a song that only some of you may know…

Still in Hollywood, the first track I ever heard from Concrete Blonde from their debut album by the same name. Lead by cool rock chick Johnette Napolitano,  who was not only the lead singer but main songwriter and bassist in the band.

I won’t spend time talking about the song. Sometimes, music speaks louder than words ever could, at least to me…

A Musical Journey – 1986

Image by Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1986- red rain – peter Gabriel

Each song I’ve chosen has personal meaning to me, in one way or another. 1986′s choice is no different.

Red Rain is the opening track from Gabriel’s classic So album. Produced by Daniel Lanois, it charted at number one in the UK album chart. The track is full of intricate musical details from the very start. Each sound creates an additional layer giving the track a dream-like surreal atmosphere. You can also hear the world music influences that show up in so many of his songs. The lyrics elude to many things. Gabriel himself has said a lot of his inspiration for the song came to him in a dream.

The sign of good writing, whether through a lyric or a novel, is that it can touch each listener or reader in a different way, giving us a chance to interpret what we have heard or read in our own way and this is definitely an excellent example of that. For me, the lyrics touch a part of me who knows only too well about the struggles we encounter and how they make us feel, and when Gabriel sings ‘It’s so hard to lay down in all of this’ I know exactly what he means…

A Musical Journey – 1985

Image by Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1985 – How Soon is Now – The SMITHS

1985 was another great year in music. It was the year of Live Aid, and the year Dire Straits released their album Brothers in Arms, one of the first ever albums to be released in a new format called Compact Disc. Strangely enough, I have no recollection of CDs back then, but I was still purchasing LP records at the time.

How Soon Is Now by The Smiths, had been previously released as a B-side in 1984, in spite of that,  it is my choice for 1985 because it was released as a single that year, reaching number 24 in the UK Singles Charts.

It is a song of discontent and longing. I remember hearing it in clubs at the time, and relating to how Morrissey must have felt when he wrote it, but it’s not just those sad desperate lyrics that give the song its dark power, add Johnny Marr’s excellent guitar work throughout, and you’ve got an extra layer, which gives the song an amazing and powerful atmosphere.

A Musical Journey – 1984

Image by Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1984 – Two Tribes – Frankie Goes to Hollywood

The 80′s are full of great songs, 1984 is no exception,  but there is only one song that represents that year for me.  Two Tribes, by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

The song was number one for nine consecutive weeks, and to this day, whenever I hear it, it reminds me of that London.  A time when Carnaby Street was still cool, and punks used to hang around Oxford Street in groups, whilst tourists would stop to snap their photograph as if they were exotic birds on display.

There were neon socks, in hideous yellow, green and pink, and everyone was wearing the Frankie Says white t-shirts with large black letters. The music on the radio was a mix of the usual pop rubbish that’s always been around, but you also heard bands like The Cure, The Smiths and many others.

P.S 1984 was also the year Bandaid came out and of course, everyone was talking about George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four

I remember this video well…

A Musical Journey – 1983

I’m taking a slight detour for 1983′s musical journey….

My 1983 choice, is not really a song, though a song is involved.  It’s a film, more specifically, the beginning of a film. Tony Scott’s The Hunger.

The moment Pete Murphy makes his film debut performing the iconic Bela Lugosi’s Dead is my 1983 musical journey. Whomever edited the scene chose to focus on him only, probably because of his powerful performance.

There is no doubt Pete was the voice and face of Bauhaus, and whilst this sounds unfair to David J, Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins, who were all great musicians and part of the band, there’s always been an unwritten musical pecking order, at least in rock music that places all attention on the frontman, then the guitar player,  followed by the bassist and lastly, the drummer.  Of course, there are always exceptions to that.

Pete’s striking looks and voice made him one of the most iconic rock performers at the time. Why didn’t Bauhaus become bigger? Maybe they were too dark for the general public, who has never had much taste. (If they did, rubbish like the X-factor would not be  success, but I digress.)

The screenshots below capture that dark essence he exuded whenever he performed with the band. It is no wonder his face inspired James O’Barr when creating The Crow. (O’Barr saw Bauhaus perform in Berlin) and there’s been other comics using his likeness as well .

This is who I watch and listen to, whenever I need to get inspiration to write…

The actual clip is below, I’m sure many of you are familiar with it, but if you’re not, it’s worth checking, you don’t get to watch the entire performance, only bits of it as the film begins.

(I see whomever has added this clip on YouTube mispelled the song. It’s BELA, not Bella…ugh)

A Musical Journey – 1981

Image by Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1981 – Ghost Town – The Specials

In my excitement to post about 1982 last week, I neglected to post a song to represent 1981.  I’ve got a good one for you…

The UK in 1981 was in a recession. We also had a Royal Wedding but there was rioting due to racial unrest in many cities, including London. Unemployment was at the highest it had been in 50 years.

Sound familiar?

Yes, it was a lot like 2011 and I am gobsmacked by the similarities.

Ghost Town, by The Specials reached number one, and stayed there for three weeks.  The iconic song, with its lyrics about unemployment, urban decay and violence in cities, struck a chord (pardon the musical pun) with the public.

The one difference between 1981 and 2011 is that there are no trend setting bands on the top ten this time….but there’s always hope something is brewing somewhere and that we will hear something new soon. I’m sure of it…

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Next Monday we shall resume our normal schedule and go back to 1983.